Hello and welcome back for Part 5 of our Blog series on 50 Tips to Improve your Financial Health in 2014. This was going to be our final blog but it looks like we’ll be coming back for one more Part, Part 6. In the meantime, let’s get started with today’s Blog and another 10 Excellent Tips. Enjoy.
Tip 36: Make a real effort to pay down your credit card debt. Carrying around a lot of debt on a high interest credit card is one of the worst things you can do financially. If your emergency savings account is already funded and you have the extra cash to pay them off, consider using that extra cash to pay down your CC debt as quickly as possible.
Tip 37: Start building your credit history. If you’re in your 20s, possibly just a graduated from college or just joined the workforce, building a credit history can be quite valuable for future purchases including a new home. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get a credit card, use it a little bit and make sure to pay it off in full every month. This not only shows that you can handle credit but also that you can handle debt just as well.
Tip 38: Keep your credit score high by always paying bills on time. This sort of goes without saying but if you’re keen on keeping your credit score looking good the best way to do it is to always pay every bill on time. Not only does it look better to creditors and lenders but it will save you money in late fees and other expenses that can accrue if you pay your bills late.
Tip 39: Use a credit card that works for your financial lifestyle. Today there are plenty of different credit cards available and the lifestyle that you choose to live should be the determining factor in which credit card you use. If you dutifully pay off your credit card bills every month then a rewards card might make sense for you but, if you only pay the minimum, getting a credit card with the lowest monthly interest rate is probably your best bet. Also, don’t be quick to close any credit cards even if you’re not using them as this can actually hurt your credit score.
Tip 40: Talk to your insurance provider about your policies and update them if necessary. Insurance is a necessary evil in today’s world and, if you’re going to be paying for it anyway, you might as well have the best for your situation both financially and lifestyle-wise. Making sure that you have the correct insurance for your needs as well as sufficient to cover in case of unforeseen circumstances is vital to your financial health. While nobody likes paying for insurance the fact is that people who are underinsured are at a much greater risk.
Tip 41: Do more socializing at home. Many people, especially those of us in our 20s, love going out and having a great time. Who doesn’t?! The fact is however that “partying” can be very “expensive”. A more intimate and even more fun way to socialize is to invite your friends over and have everyone bring something, sort of a potluck dinner (but not nearly as dull as it sounds). It’s a great way to get to know each other, have a laugh and save a little money the same time.
Tip 42: Spend wisely on gifts. Today’s frugal consumer is all about saving money wherever possible but many of us don’t look at purchasing gifts as one of these areas. The fact is however that a cheaper but more meaningful gift will oftentimes be cherished much more than something outrageously expensive.
Tip 43: Celebrate milestones wisely. Did you know that it costs approximately $1600 to be a bridesmaid today? It’s no wonder people are clamoring to be in the wedding business! While celebrating things like weddings is important, especially with your best friends and family, there’s nothing written in stone that says that you have to go broke doing it. Turning down the opportunity to be a bridesmaid if you really can’t afford it isn’t the end of the world, as well as sharing the cost of hotel rooms if you have to travel and chipping in for a gift from “the gang” instead of purchasing one on your own.
Tip 44: Create your estate plan. If you think you have to be wealthy to make an estate plan, you’re wrong. Even low to moderate income earners will have things like cash, automobiles, jewelry, collectibles and other things that need to be divvied up if they pass on unexpectedly. If you’re keen on keeping your family from fighting after you‘re gone, having an estate plan put together before you go is the best way to do it.
Tip 45: Keep your portfolio diversified. A diversified portfolio is one of the best ways to make sure that your investments are protected should the stock market crash or the economy take a turn for the worse. The reason is that if they are diversified, meaning that you have investments in several different assets, it’s very rare for all of those asset classes to “go south” at the same time.
Well, dear readers, that leaves 5 more tips to go which will bring you in our final Blog in the next couple of days. To entice you to come back we’ll even make sure to throw in a few extra goodies so make sure you do. If you have any questions or comments in the interim, please let us know and we’ll get back to you with answers and advice ASAP.