Your Quick Guide to Personal Finance
Hi Money Masters!
Do you know what keeps me warm on days like this? Spreading my financial knowledge to you! And you know I am happy to do it… Let’s talk personal finance. Even better, let’s put together a quick and easy list of personal finance facts and tips to help keep you (or help get you back) on track!
#1. Using Credit
Do you know what your interest rates are on your cards? Depending on your rates, you could end up paying thousands of extra dollars unless you pay your cards in full each month and on time. Better yet, pay with cash if you can.
#2. The 10-Second Rule
I have previously mentioned the 30-Day Rule, but this one is quicker and easier. Very simply put, wait 10 seconds before you spend money on something. Anything. Ask yourself if you need to spend that money at that precise moment. Even if you are paying a bill, you could use that 10 seconds to check and see if there’s any way to reduce the amount. See? Pretty simple, right?
#3. Pay Yourself
Make sure you are taking a portion of your income and putting it in a savings or investment account in which it will earn you more money from interest while you are peacefully sleeping at night.
#4. Managing Emotions
Emotions are not really discussed a whole lot when it comes to personal finance, however, they can play a big part. What we need to focus on are the behaviors that come with our emotions and how they affect our financial lives. For example, if someone’s debit card is declined at the coffee shop he/she may, in turn, pull out a credit card out of embarrassment. Which may be a setback depending on that person’s situation. Let’s say someone is very excited about a large tax return. That person has a choice to use the money wisely. Will his/her behavior negatively or positively affect his/her finances?
#5. Earn More
I know! I know! You are yelling at the computer saying “HELEN! I am so busy already!” But I am not necessarily telling you to go get another job. Getting a side-hustle is one option, yes, but not the ONLY option. There’s passive income and investing as well. The goal is to find ways to have another stream of income coming in.
#6. Compare Convenience VS. Cost
OK, this one could be fun! Sometimes we spend money because it is convenient; for instance, dining out at a restaurant or ordering delivery. Here’s an experiment I want you to try. Try to remember the amount of money you spent last time on a meal from a restaurant. Then, make the same meal at home and see how much you spent. Chances are you had a lot of the ingredients already. Try it and let me know the results!
#7. Change Your Routine
If your goal is to save more money or allocate some of what you already have to something else then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your daily habits. Ask yourself if you can live without extra things like premium TV channels or your morning bagel. Really look at your expenses and find those areas where you can reduce costs.
#8. Pay Off High Interest Debt
When possible, make double or even triple payments to pay this down! Even paying an extra $5 will help. You will FEEL SO GOOD when this debt is gone. It takes strength and consistency but it can be done.
#9. Don’t Touch That Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is money you keep set aside (preferably in a savings account) that is only to be used in the event of a major crisis, such as losing a job, a medical emergency, or unexpected vehicle expenses. You should know exactly how much money you spend per month on regular expenses (bills, housing, food, transportation) and set aside at least 6 months worth of those expenses.
#10. Pay Off More Debt
After you tackle those high interest debts you can focus your efforts on other debts. Try to make higher payments on car loans, student loans, and your mortgage.
A lot of people think their personal finance goal should be “to be rich”. Having lots of money would be nice. However, there’s more to it. Focusing your goal to be “FINANCIAL FREEDOM” can mean so much more.
Blessings to you all,