LONDON – Thinking of how to manage your finances may seem like a daunting task. However, if you have some useful tips in your toolbelt can get you started towards having a successful financial future.
The 24-Hour Rule
When you get a craving to make a non-essential purchase, instead of acting on your impulse, give yourself 24 hours to think it over. In most cases, your interest will subside as you give yourself to truly think over whether you really need it.
It’s okay to treat yourself occasionally if you don’t go overboard. When you’re considering a new purchase, think of it in terms of hours rather than cost. For example, if you make $20 an hour and the new television you want costs $1200, it will take you 60 hours to make up for the item. Is it worth that many hours of work for a new television set?
Check your bank statement to see what gets automatically deducted from your account each month. You may be surprised to see subscriptions you haven’t used in months that you’re still being charged for. Take this opportunity to unsubscribe from these services to save yourself some extra cash. The same can be done with marketing emails. Unsubscribing from unnecessary communications reduced temptation to buy into sales and keeps your inbox clutter-free.
Interest on credit cards and loans adds up quickly and can lengthen your repayment substantially, especially if you only pay the minimum each month. If you can, make it a goal to pay your cards off in full each month to avoid those hefty interest fees.
Make your life easier and ensure your bills are paid on time each month by taking advantage of auto pay. Most insurance companies, credit card providers, and mortgage companies offer this service as a courtesy to their customers. Some loan providers even offer rate deductions if you use this service.Monitor Credit
Periodically review your credit report to check for discrepancies or other issues. By monitoring your credit, you can catch issues as they arise and address them right away. When you have a good credit score, it can help you get a better rate on auto or home loans and credit cards.
Never underestimate the power of negotiation. There are many bills and services you can negotiate price on—from your cable bill to home repairs. Other situations, such as when you’re purchasing a new vehicle, are also good opportunities to negotiate price. Doing so could save you thousands of dollars.
Don’t Neglect Savings
Everyone should strive to have an emergency fund but many people overlook or neglect to put money away. Give yourself a goal, like $1,000, as a starting point and put away until you reach your goal. Having a small nest egg available can help you out if something comes up and prevent you from taking out emergency loans, which often come with exorbitant interest rates.Do a Checkup
Just like you go to a doctor annually to check up on your physical health, it’s a good idea to also set aside time each year for an annual financial checkup. You can meet with a finance professional to see if you’re saving enough money for emergencies and retirement and get advice on things you can do throughout the year to save yourself money.
Smart finance choices don’t require an advanced degree. Using these tips, you’ll be on your way to maintaining healthy finances to help you have successful future.