When it comes to finance, it can be very tempting to just stick your head in the sand and wait until somebody else has sorted things out for you, but what if there comes a time when you are the person who has to make decisions? Being financially intelligent and aware is one of the key elements of being a mature adult, so you can’t hide from it forever! Here are ten points of basic finance everyone should know.
1. Free Credit Report
It is always good to have a grasp of what state your credit is in, so don’t hesitate to request a free credit report. There are plenty of websites online that offer one free report per year.
When it comes to credit scores, it is good to have a handle on what tiers the different numbers indicate. Anything about 720 is excellent, 690 to 719 is good, 630 – 689 is fair and 300 – 629 is plain bad.
3. Early Retirement Saving
The earlier you start saving for retirement, the happier and more comfortable you are going to be in your old age. It might seem a million miles off at 25, but it is worth it to start being considerate of your future right now.
4. Credits Cards Don’t Equal Free Money
They might seem like these shiny tickets to purchasing anything that you want, but it is important to remember that credit cards don’t equal free money. The more unpaid balances you leave on your credit card; the more interest you are going to have to pay back.
5. Track Spending
It is essential that you track your spending to know exactly where your money goes each month, because you will know precisely what areas to address whenever you need to be more frugal.
6. Debt Payoff Strategies
Make sure that you take advantage of your college’s financial advisor and graduate with a full understanding of all of the strategies that exist to paying off your debts. The more educated you are on the matter, the more effective your pay offs will be.
7. Emergency Fund
You know what might be around the corner in life, so it is vital that you have an emergency fund that you pay into every month. This fund means that you will never be left completely destitute and without short term options.
8. Don’t Try to Keep up with Joneses
It is really important that you live within your own means and not feel the pressure to spend from people around you. Trying to keep up with others is a sure fire way to get yourself in financial trouble.
9. Spend Less than You Earn
It sounds like a simple tip, but you would be surprised by how many people live and die by their credit cards. If you commit to spending less than you earn each month, then you will always be in the black.
10. Reduces Expenses
You should always be looking for ways to reduce your largest expenses. Could you be shopping at a cheaper supermarket? Do you really need three subscription services? All of these things can add up.