You know something? There’s no better time than right now to start changing your financial future for the better. How do you do that though? Here’s a quick look at a few small things you can do that will go a long way.
Credit Cards and Credit
When looking to establish or re-establish your credit, credit cards are a good option. While most banks offer them, consider applying for a credit union credit card instead. Credit unions often have highly competitive rates and terms.
Of course, not everyone has the good credit that’s needed in order to get a low interest card. If this sounds like you, start building your credit with a credit card that’s secured. A secured credit card will help you build your credit just as a regular one does, with the added bonus of it not allowing you to overspend.
Set a Budget
Did you realize that setting a budget can be thought of as the starting point for each and every other goal you might have? Not only does it teach you to have control and watch your spending, because there are financial goals involved, it also teaches you to work steadily towards reaching your goals – all of them.
Make a Financial Calendar
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t trust yourself to take a periodic look at your personal credit report or maybe to pay your taxes on time, consider setting up a financial calendar. On it, include all of your critical to-dos that are finance-related just as you would make a calendar with things like the annual tune-up or for your doctor visits.
A few minutes ago, financial goals were mentioned in conjunction with budgeting. You should be setting financial goals that have a degree of specificity. Use dates and numbers, as opposed to relying on words alone, in order to map out what you’d like to accomplish in regards to your finances. For example, how much of your debt would you like to pay off by such and such a date? How much money would you like to have in your savings account by this date and what do you plan to do in order to make it happen?
When it comes to making financial goals, make bite-sized ones. The thing is, the farther away your goal is, and if we’re not entirely confident about making it happen, the more likely we’ll be to just give up on it. So, on top of remaining focused on those larger goals, such as buying a house, try to also set smaller goals on your way to that larger goal that will yield results on a quicker basis – like saving up a bit of money to go on a weekend getaway.
When you’re in a position to be starting a new career, or at a new place of employment, the salary will need to be negotiated. If you go in and automatically give away what you’ve been making up to this point, you don’t have any way of knowing whether or not you’re highballing or lowballing your prospective employers. Always try to get the potential employer to name a number first when it comes to salary and that’ll give you a ballpark idea and a better starting point.
Finally, let’s talk for a minute about savings accounts. You need at least one. This should be an emergency fund that should only be dipped into in the event of a true emergency – such as a job loss, illness, emergency home or car expenses, or a death. Try to have enough in that savings account to cover about 3 – 6 months’ worth of expenses. If you’ve got more than that saved, consider investing it so that your money can start working for you.