Ready to end the struggle and enjoy all the advantages of a more financially sound lifestyle? All it takes a little organization, planning and commitment. Here are six tips on how 20-somethings can make significant strides financially in 2017 even though it’s never too late to start:
- Save money. If you haven’t been saving money already, now is the best time to do so. Although you might feel like you’re already weighed down by a bunch of bills and other payments, it’ll only get worse as you get older. Throughout your twenties, you won’t be going to have nearly as many responsibilities as when you’re a little older. So take advantage of the opportunity to stash away a percentage of your paycheck each month. Depending on how much you spend on “essentials,” you might only be able to save somewhere between fifty and hundred bucks each month. Even so, every little bit counts.
- Create a budget. Grab a pad of paper or a notebook and make an outline of all your monthly bills and their given amounts, including your cell phone bill, car payment, insurance payment, rent, gym membership, water bill, cable bill, electric bill, etc. It’s also crucial to include how much money you spend each month on things like gas, food and going out. This way, you’ll have a set spending limit with a fair amount flexibility, giving you the opportunity to get ahead and achieve some of the financial goals you’ve set for yourself.
- Pay bills on time. Make sure you mark on your calendar or smartphone the exact day of the month that each bill is due. Failing to pay your bills on time is simply a sign of laziness and a lack of planning. Not only will you be charged with a late fee, but it’ll also negatively affect your credit score. This means that in the future potential lenders will perceive your inability to pay bills on time as an indication that you lack financial responsibility. Although it’s not okay, it’s easy to slip up and pay a bill late here and there, but when it becomes a habit, you’re going to pay the price one way or another.
- Build credit. First and foremost, if you have student loans that you have to pay back, make sure you’re paying them each month in full and on time. Moreover, get a credit card and make sure you use it responsibly, meaning don’t spend more than 30% of your credit limit; or else your debt situation could become a lot worse. View your credit card as a means of building credit, instead of free money—which it is most certainly not. Use your card only for purchases that you know you’ll be able to pay off quickly once that bill arrives. Demonstrating your ability to spend and pay off debt quickly will be appealing to the eyes of lenders.
- Don’t rush to pay off student loans. Instead, you should focus on saving up your money for a new car, mortgage, emergencies and other unforeseen expenses. Student loans almost always come along with low-interest rates, which means that unless you hit jackpot, you’re not going to be helping yourself out a whole lot by trying to pay more than the amount that’s due each month. In fact, some financial experts claim that saving for retirement by putting money in a 401(k) or IRA should take priority over quickly paying off your student loans. It might seem like a hassle having to pay student loans every month, but you must accept that rushing to pay all of it off will only make your life more difficult.
- Check credit score. Make sure you check your credit score at least once a year. When clients turn to professionals at credit repair clinics like Quality Credit Repair, they’re able to find out whether or not their credit report consists of any false or erroneous inquiries. It’s not uncommon for inaccurate information to be included in a client’s credit report. In fact, nearly 79% of them contain mistakes of some kind. Whether it was a mix up of your name and address, or just flat out recorded incorrectly, it’s crucial that you identify these issues as early as possible so you can improve your score.
Commit to a more financially sound lifestyle so you can set yourself up for a more comfortable future!
Interested in learning more about how to best handle your finances? Contact the professionals at Quality Credit Repair for debt counseling in Philadelphia or any of its surrounding areas. Call 888-399-3898 or fill out a contact form on their website today to schedule your free consultation.