There are always ways to save more, spend smarter, and work your way towards paying off your debt. Easier said than done, right? It doesn’t have to feel that way, though. Here are five financial tips to live by that can help you develop healthy money habits and work towards achieving your financial goals.
#1: Don’t Defer Your Loans
This one is especially true for student loans and is a valuable tip for those who have recently graduated or are still studying. When things are tight, there are some techniques that are reliable and helpful to get out of difficult financial situations. For instance, a short-term loan from GoDay is an easy way to secure some funds right away from a reliable online source. There’s nothing wrong with getting some help every now and then, but a payday loan, like deferring loans, shouldn’t be your go-to solution.
When it comes to deferring your loans, doing it over and over again can end up doing you more harm than good. If things are getting desperate, then it could help to explore debt consolidation or to consult with a professional to guide you to setting up a plan for paying your debts.
#2: Be Critical of Co-Signs
It’s a difficult situation: your friend or family member with bad credit needs help with getting approved for a loan. It’s something important, maybe a lease on a car or an apartment, and you want to help. Even if you trust and love them, you’re a little wary of putting your credit on the line for someone who hasn’t had a solid track record of making their payments on time.
Some harsh financial advice is to stay away from these situations when you can, even if they may cause you some strain in your personal life. Trust your gut, this could be a chance for your friend or family member to start becoming reliable and making payments and turn things around, but it might not. A co-sign is a serious financial obligation where you end up obligating yourself to debt. It could be a mutually beneficial arrangement, but then it might not be. Proceed with caution.
#3: Credit Score Consciousness
Your credit score is an incredibly important number in your personal and financial life and it can be a make or break deal when it comes to important things like getting approved for loans or getting the best rates on mortgages. A general rule when it comes to using your available credit is to not use more than 30% of the credit that is available to you. So, for credit cards that have a $1000 limit, don’t use more than $300. As you creep up to the 30% mark, then make a payment to bring down your balance.
#4: Choose Your Credit Card Wisely
What should you look for in a credit card? Choose a card that comes with a rewards program like cash back or points that can go towards airfare, gift cards, or more. Just don’t go overboard with your spending because you need to be kind to your credit score.
#5: Budget & Track Your Spending
One of the most important things you can do to become a personal finance star is to start (and stick to) a budget. Budgets prevent overspending or using payday loans and they help you live within your means. The way that you develop and stick to your budget will depend on your lifestyle and spending habits. There are different ways of budgeting and planning your spending so look for what works best for you: do you work best with fixed amounts of cash in envelopes? Do you want to build your savings in a ‘snowball’ technique? Find the best system for you and run with it.