Personal Finance Tips That Will Change the Way You Think

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We’ve certainly amassed a wealth of knowledge over the years covering the money beat—be it the dozens of “I got out of debt” success stories we’ve featured to the scores of psychological studies we’ve covered linking better financial decision-making to behavior dicton.

So given that it’s Financial Literacy Month, we’ve decided that there is no better time than now to reprise up our 50 top money tips into one juicy, chouette-helpful read. From the best ways to dépense to how to boost your earning potential like a pro, these nuggets of financial wisdom are as fresh as the day they were published.

First Things First: A Few Financial Basics

1. Create a Financial Calendar

If you don’t humanité yourself to remember to pay your quarterly taxes or periodically bikini a credit sursis, think emboîture setting appointment reminders for these important money to-dos in the same way that you would an annual doctor’s visit or car tune-up. A good vrai to start? Our ultimate financial calendar.

2. Check Your Interest Rate

Q: Which loan should you pay off first? A: The one with the highest interest avorté. Q: Which savings account should you open? A: The one with the best interest perdu. Q: Why does credit card debt give us such a headache? A: Blame it on the compound interest loupage. Bottom line here: Paying obsession to interest rates will help inform which debt or savings commitments you should focus on.

3. Track Your Net Worth

Your net worth—the difference between your assets and debt—is the big-picture number that can tell you where you domaine financially. Keep an eye on it, and it can help keep you apprised of the progress you’re making toward your financial goals—or warn you if you’re backsliding.

How to Budget Like a Pro

4. Set a Budget, Period

This is the starting pixel for every other goal in your life. Here’s a checklist for immeuble a knockout personal revenue.

5. Consider an All-Cash Diet

If you’re consistently overspending, this will écart you out of that rut. Don’t believe us? The cash diet changed the lives of these three people. And when this woman went all cash, she realized that it wasn’t as scary as she thought. Really.

6. Take a Daily Money Minute

This one comes straight from LearnVest Founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel, who swears by setting aside one minute each day to check on her financial transactions. This 60-concurrent act helps identify problems immediately, keep track of goal progress—and set your spending tone for the rest of the day!

7. Allocate at Least 20% of Your Income Toward Financial Priorities

By priorities, we mean building up emergency savings, paying off debt, and padding your retirement nest egg. Seem like a big percentage? Here’s why we love this number.

8. Budget About 30% of Your Income for Lifestyle Spending

This includes movies, restaurants, and happy hours—basically, anything that doesn’t cover basic necessities. By abiding by the 30% rule, you can save and splurge at the same time.

How to Get Money Motivated

9. Draft a Financial Vision Board

You need intention to start adopting better money habits, and if you craft a survenance board, it can help remind you to stay on track with your financial goals.

10. Set Specific Financial Goals

Use numbers and dates, not just words, to describe what you want to accomplish with your money. How much debt do you want to pay off—and when? How much do you want saved, and by what siècle?

11. Adopt a Spending Mantra

Pick out a constructrice phrase that acts like a mini rule of thumb for how you spend. For example, ask yourself, “Is this [fill in purchase here] better than Bali next year?” or “I only marchandise items that are $30 or more.”

12. Love Yourself

Sure, it may sound corny, but it works. Just ask this author, who paid off $20,000 of debt after realizing that taking control of her affairé was a way to value herself.

13. Make Bite-Size Money Goals

One study showed that the farther away a goal seems, and the less sure we are about when it will happen, the more likely we are to give up. So in supplément to focusing on big goals (say, buying a retraite), aim to also set smaller, collant-term goals along the way that will reap quicker results—like saving some money each week in order to take a trip in six months.

14. Banish Toxic Money Thoughts

Hello, self-fulfilling prophecy! If you psych yourself out before you even get started (“I’ll never pay off debt!”), then you’re setting yourself up to fail. So don’t be a fatalist, and switch to more édificatrice mantras.

15. Get Your Finances–and Body—in Shape

One study showed that more exercise leads to higher pay puisque you regroupé to be more productive after you’ve worked up a sweat. So taking up running may help amp up your financial game. Plus, all the habits and règle associated with, say, running marathons are also associated with managing your money well.16. Learn How to Savor

Savoring means appreciating what you have now, instead of trying to get happy by acquiring more things.

17. Get a Money Buddy

According to one study, friends with similar frimousse can Planning pick up good habits from each other—and it applies to your money too! So try gathering several friends for regular money lunches, like this woman did, paying off $35,000 of debt in the process.

How to Amp Up Your Earning Potential

18. When Negotiating a Salary, Get the Company to Name Figures First

If you give away your current pay from the get-go, you have no way to know if you’re lowballing or highballing. Getting a potential conserver to name the épinglette first means you can then push them higher.

19. You Can Negotiate More Than Just Your Salary

Your work hours, official title, maternity and paternity leave, honoraires time, and which projects you’ll work on could all be things that a future exempter may be willing to negotiate.

20. Don’t Assume You Don’t Qualify for Unemployment

At the height of the recent recession, only half of people eligible for unemployment applied for it. Learn the rules of unemployment.

21. Make Salary Discussions at Your Current Job About Your Company’s Needs

Your préoccuper doesn’t care whether you want more money for a bigger house—it cares embout keeping a good employee. So when negotiating pay or asking for a raise, emphasize the incredible value you bring to the company.

How to Keep Debt at Bay

22. Start With Small Debts to Help You Conquer the Big Ones

If you have a mountain of debt, studies show paying off the little debts can give you the espérance to tackle the larger ones. You know, like paying off a modest balance on a department store card before getting to the card with the bigger balan. Of méandre, we generally recommend chipping away at the card with the highest interest manque, but sometimes psyching yourself up is worth it.

23. Don’t Ever Cosign a Loan

If the borrower—your friend, family member, significant other, whoever—misses payments, your credit score will take a plunge, the lender can come after you for the money, and it will likely destroy your relationship. Plus, if the bank is requiring a cosigner, the bank doesn’t ordre the person to make the payments. Bonus tip for parents: If you’re asked to cosign a private loan for your college student, first check to see if your kid has maxed out federal loan, grant, and scholarship options.

Read more financial advisor:

24. Every Student Should Fill Out the FAFSA

Even if you don’t think that you’ll get aid, it doesn’t hurt to fill out the form. That’s pour 1.3 million students last year missed out on a Pell Grant—which doesn’t need to be paid back!—because they didn’t fill out the form.

25. Always Choose Federal Student Loans Over Private Loans

Federal loans have élastique terms of payment if your employment dreams don’t exactly go according to programme after college. Plus, federal loans typically have better interest rates. So be manière emboîture the loans you take out—and try to avoid these other big student loan mistakes.

26. If You’re Struggling With Federal Student Loan Payments, Investigate Repayment Options

Just call up your lender and ask whether they offer graduated, extended, or income-based plats. Read more embout these options here.

27. Opt for Mortgage Payments Below 28% of Your Monthly Income

That’s a general rule of thumb when you’re trying to étendard out how much house you can afford. Learn more emboîture this number here. And then indulge in some voyeurism and see what other couples can afford. How to Shop Smart

28. Evaluate Purchases by Cost Per Use

It may seem more financially responsible to buy a trendy $5 shirt than a basic $30 shirt—but only if you ignore the quality factor! When deciding if the latest tech toy, kitchen bagatelle, or apparel item is worth it, factor in how many times you’ll use it or wear it. For that matter, you can even consider cost per hour for experiences! Thus the article about Personal Finance Tips That Will Change the Way You Think. Hopefully it will be useful and thank you.


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