Being able to manage your finances effectively is very important to your future financial security. Neglecting financial management tasks often leads to overspending, lack of saving, and the accumulation of significant amounts of debt. We like to think our brains help us make decisions by weighing all the relevant factors to make the best choice, but we are more than capable of illogical financial decision-making that costs us a lot of money when we do not plan ahead. Managing your finances effectively is not as difficult as you may think. Here are some tips for that will help you improve your financial management skills.
Designate A Set Time For Financial Management Tasks
To manage your finances effectively, you must make time to do your financial management tasks correctly. Designating a set time each week to sit down and go over any necessary financial information helps you make the tasks more routine and increases the likelihood that the tasks will be completed in a timely manner. Most weeks, you will be able to complete your financial tasks in less than an hour once you have your routine in place. Pick a time when you can quietly focus on getting your financial management tasks completed and write that time into your schedule as a weekly appointment.
Create Clear Financial Goals
Managing your finances becomes more important to you when you have concrete financial goals to reach for. Goals motivate you to save and watch your spending while providing you with a desired reward at the end of your journey. Start by setting a financial goal that you would like to reach within the next year. Then, focus on the steps that would be needed throughout the year to meet that goal. This will give you a starting point for how your finances should be allocated in your budget to meet both your monthly obligations and your financial goals.
Take The Time To Make Informed Decisions
Many people overspend unknowingly because they make financial decisions hastily or on impulse without having all of the necessary information to make an informed decision. Part of your regular financial management tasks should be to acquire information relevant to upcoming financial decisions so you can make an informed decision when the time comes. Examples of this are reviewing the prices and payment plans for various vehicles before buying a new car, comparing different retailers’ prices for an appliance that needs replacing, or obtaining insurance quotes before renewing your car insurance policy. Taking the time to do this research could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
There are a lot of myths out there regarding credit that many people believe. While some of these credit myths are relatively harmless, barely affecting you at all, some others can harm your finances significantly if you are not careful. Believing the wrong credit myths can cost you money and wreck your credit score. You should know these credit myths that can harm your finances.
Believing You Only Have A Single Credit Score
Most people are aware that they have a FICO credit score and believe that this is the score that lenders and other businesses that pull credit scores are looking at. Most people do not realize that there are multiple companies tracking their credit information and compiling credit scores on them that are then sold to the companies requesting them. Each of these companies may use slightly different formulas with your credit history information from one of the three main credit bureaus, resulting in different credit scores with different scoring companies. This makes paying for your credit score pointless, as there is no telling which credit scoring model was actually used to calculate your score.
Believing That Credit Bureaus Are Infallible
Another big mistake is believing that the credit bureaus are infallible and that any mistakes found will not be corrected. Many people do not check their credit reports because of this reason, allowing mistakes to drag down their credit score for years. Lower credit scores result in higher interest rates and fees, so people with mistakes on their credit reports pay more than they should be for credit products and insurance. It is important to go over your credit reports regularly to ensure that there are no mistakes on them that need to be corrected. You can obtain them for free once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Believing You Need To Carry A Balance For A Good Credit Score
Many people make the mistake of believing the credit myth that they must be carrying a balance on a credit card or a loan for them to have a good credit score. The truth is that you could pay off your balance entirely every month and still have a good score. This is because the balance reported to the credit bureaus is typically the balance from your last statement, not the amount remaining after you have paid the bill. Believing this myth could result in you paying a significant amount in interest payments unnecessarily, which ultimately reduces the amount that you are able to save for your future needs.
Whether you are mulling over your undergraduate options, or in the midst of an economics degree, the journey from university to occupation is certainly a lot trickier than we’re led to initially believe. Particularly in the case of economics, it’s not the case of being educated for a specific role – you are instead being provided with a set of skills that could be used in a whole host of jobs. This, is a huge advantage. Bearing the above in mind, it can be quite a daunting task knowing just where to apply your new skills and degree certificate. To hopefully ease the process, we have comprised the following guide which has penciled in three of the most popular, relevant and lucrative paths open to those economics degree graduates. Here goes…
Market Research Analyst
We’re going to start with one of those jobs that probably doesn’t seem blatantly obvious on first sight. After all, since when has there been a serious link between economics and marketing? However, if you delve into the analytics of marketing, there’s some big money to take advantage of. As we all know, our economics degree has taught us incredible attention to detail and to know how to analyze numbers to a tee. This is exactly what market research is about and one could argue it brings out a much more colorful side from the budding economist. While you will be bogged down in facts and figures, it will still allow you to unleash your creative streak to an extent.
Something that is perhaps more in line with the traditional economist is a credit analyst. It’s here which you can again put your attention to detail right to the test, as well as your ability to analyze the risks involved in lending money to certain individuals and organizations.
A much broader type of analyst, and one that a lot of guides to economics degree opportunities highlight, is the financial analyst. This is a professional which can analyze everything from companies, stocks, banks and investors – meaning that every day truly can be different. Of course, it’s probably one of the more challenging disciplines but like with everything, this can bring huge financial rewards. It’s probably worth mentioning that this type of expert generally has to be both a people-person and a numbers person, with their findings usually being presented to the core stakeholders who make a decision based on their work.
While a financial analyst might be common, we’ll conclude the article with the career path that defines the typical degree in economics. A lot of people heading to study this subject are preparing themselves for the big, bad but again massively rewarding role of accounting. We don’t need to provide an extensive job description here; being an accountant involves forming a business’s income and expenses into a legit and readable format. Of course, some of these professionals make even more money with their recommendations based on best practices, so there is again an element of creativity involved in this career path.
The internet is full of stories about people that have eliminated large amounts of debt in extremely short periods of time, giving many people hope that they will be able to achieve the same results with their large debt levels. Unfortunately, some people choose to pay charlatans obscene amounts of money to make their debts go away without having to do the hard work required for true debt elimination, which usually results in illegal actions taken on behalf of the debtor or with results so limited that it is a waste of money. There are a number of tactics that you can use to eliminate a significant amount of debt in a relatively short period of time, but it will take dedication and discipline. Here are some methods you can use to eliminate debt fast.
Downsize Your Lifestyle
Humans have a bad habit of upgrading their lifestyles as soon as they have additional money to spend. The majority of raises and income tax refunds go towards purchasing things that people perceive will make their lives better, often with a recurring cost. To have more money to pay towards your debts, downgrade your lifestyle and stop spending so much money on things that are not truly necessary for a fulfilled life, like cable television packages, unlimited cellphone plans, and expensive event tickets. Instead, put that money towards your goals to eliminate debt fast and build wealth for the future.
Create A Strict Budget (And Stick To It)
Budgeting is your best friend if you want to eliminate debt fast. With a budget, you can see exactly how much you should be spending in each spending category (groceries, housing, etc.) as well as how much you should be dedicating to the repayment of your debt. With a steady income source, you can allocate your resources with the budget so that you are still living comfortably while paying as much as you can afford towards bringing down your debt levels. The more money you can put towards your debts, the quicker you will become debt free.
Dedicate A Second Income To Debt Repayment
Feel like you make too little to pay your bills and repay your debt? Consider earning a second income in your spare time and dedicating that money towards the repayment of your debt. There are many different ways to earn a second income, including babysitting for friends or neighbors, doing odd jobs, turning a hobby into an income source, or finding work that you can do from home. Once your debt has been repaid, you can continue and use the money earned to create an emergency fund and save for your future.