So, you’ve decided to look your finances in the eye and make the wise moves necessary to get everything in order. Except, you’re not exactly sure what moves you’re supposed to make.
Well, from drafting a financial vision board to putting together a budget, here are some smart personal finance tips that will put you in good standing.
Establish a Financial Schedule
If you don’t want to commit your periodic financial plans to memory, consider creating a calendar that’s exclusively for your finances. For example, you can set a day for doing invoices or for examining your credit reports for errors.
Check Your Net Worth
It’s always a good idea to know the difference between your assets and debts so that you can see how you’re faring in terms of your financial objectives.
Ditch the Plastic
For a certain period, put your credit cards away and just use cash for a period. This makes your purchases more “real,” and will help you slash overall spending.
Create a Financial Vision Board
Doing so and putting it where you can see it every day can motivate you to hang in there with your financial goals.
Shop by Yourself
If you’re honest, you probably realize that when you shop with others, you’re more apt to spend on things you never intended to, usually because a friend talked you into it. Try doing your socializing in other venues.
Get a Secured Credit Card
If you have bad credit, go for a secured credit card, which usually doesn’t require a credit pull. And if your poor scores are due to overwhelming credit card debt, consider the debt settlement program at Freedom Debt Relief.
Get Renter’s Insurance
Not concerned about robbery, eh? First, you can’t be too sure about that. But renter’s insurance can also cover natural disasters, rent if you must stay someplace else due to damage done at your place, and the medical bills of any individuals who get hurt at your residence.
Don’t Put Savings in Your Checking Account
You’re more liable to spend your savings if the cash is sitting in your checking account along with your other funds. Have a dedicated savings account that you won’t “accidentally” exhaust.
Don’t Put Too Much in Savings
It’s not a good idea to have more than six months’ savings in a regular low-interest account. Consider putting that cash in an investment or high-yield account.
Check Your Brokerage Account
Rebalance your investment portfolio annually to be certain you’re on track with your long-term investment goals.
Use Direct Deposit
Out of sight, out of mind, right? Well … yes! If the cash that you have earmarked for savings goes right into that account, you’ll almost forget about the stash, which is a good thing.
Mind Your Credit Card Utilization
You want to keep your credit utilization rate under 30 percent of your total available credit to keep from dinging your credit scores.
If You Get a Raise, Increase Your Retirement Savings
A hike in pay should mean a commensurate bump in your retirement savings. And be sure to do it through automatic transfer.
Create that Budget
If you do nothing else on this list, establishing a budget must be your priority, and should be the starting point for every other objective in your financial life.
Set Aside 30% of Income for Lifestyle Spending
This means, restaurants, movies, skating rinks, etc. Anything other than necessities. The 30 percent rule will permit you to save and enjoy yourself at the same time.
You can use this list of smart personal finance tips to change the way you think about money and to keep yourself on track when it comes to your short- and long-term goals. And make it a habit to refer to the list often.