Over 43 percent of Americans report that they would have a problem handling a $400 emergency expense. Most people struggle to stay on track financially, which generally lead to increased stress levels and lower credit scores.
Are you tired of just barely getting by? If you answered, yes, then this is the year you need to turn things around. While making changes to the way you approach spending and saving money may be intimidating, it is essential when trying to turn over a new financial leaf.
Failing to change bad spending habits will only lead to bankruptcies and foreclosures. This is why you need to take the financial tips in this article seriously. Read below to find some of the best financial advice you are going to read this year.
1. Listing Your Debt Is the Best Financial Advice
One of the biggest mistakes most people make is abiding by the “out of sight, out of mind’ policy regarding their debt. If you turn a blind eye to the debt you have, it is only a matter of time before this causes serious financial problems.
Rather than ignoring the money you owe, you need to create a detailed plan on how to pay it off. Listing out all of your debts is a step in the right direction.
Once you actually have all of this information listed, it may show you that your financial situation isn’t as bad as you think. Doubling up on your monthly payments when possible is a great way to get your debt paid down in a timely manner.
2. Automation Is Your Friend
If you are like most people, saving money is something you struggle with. Failing to put money into your savings can lead to the inability to make ends meet in financially tough times. Being laid-off or injured will make it impossible for you to work and earn money.
Are you tired of trying to making manual deposits into your savings account? If you answered yes, then using the power of automation is a good idea. Programs like Digit and Stash allow you to save without thinking about it.
Often times, programs like this will take money in small increments. When you make a purchase, these apps will round up to the nearest dollar and put that amount in a savings account. Over time, these small withdrawals will definitely add up.
3. Establish Financial Goals
When trying to get on the right track financially, you need to have a goal in mind. Whether this goal is paying off all of your credit card debt or buying a home, you need to work hard to achieve it.
Buying a home is a great way to put your money to work. Over time, your home will grow in value. This means you should be able to turn a profit when the time comes to sell.
Are you unsure about what financial goals you want to set? If so, seeking out financial advice from professionals is a must. They will be able to help you set these goals and provide you with a roadmap on how to achieve them.
4. Save Money
One of the biggest expenses most people have is food. Eating out all of the time is not only bad for your health, it can also be bad for your wallet. This is why you need to make a habit of cooking meals at home.
There are tons of businesses that will send you meals in the mail for a reasonable price. Often times, these meals will come with all of the ingredients and instructions you need to cook a healthy and delicious meal.
Creating a “no spend” day once every other week is also a good idea. On these days, you need to find unique ways to have fun without spending a dime. While planning one of these “no spend” days may be challenging, it can also be a lot of fun.
5. Check Your Credit Regularly
The only way you can get approved for loans and low-interest credit cards is by having a good credit score. Some people avoid looking at their credit report for fear of what they might find. The last thing you want is to let inconsistencies on your credit report lower your buying power.
Taking the time to look over your credit report on a monthly basis is important. By doing this, you can see what is on your credit report and whether or not it is accurate.
If you do find inconsistencies, be sure to dispute them right away. While filing these disputes will be time-consuming, it is worth the investment of energy. By removing these inconsistencies, you can raise your credit score over time.
6. Use Autopay
Missing a payment on one of your loans or a credit card can be quite damaging to your credit score. If you have a hard time remembering when your payments are due, setting up autopay with your various accounts is a good idea.
Usually, companies that offer this autopay feature will send out notices well in advance to let you know they are about to take a payment. Autopay allows you to pay on time and is very convenient for people who already have a lot on their plate.
Let Financial Professionals Help You Out
Instead of making financial mistakes due to a lack of experience, seeking out professional help is your best bet. A professional can offer you the best financial advice for a reasonable fee.
Trying to make keeping up with your finances easier? Read our article about why using an expense tracker is a good idea. These trackers can help you isolate spending problems and fix them in a hurry.