20 Tips To Help You Become Financially Responsible
As an adult, it’s important to get your personal finances in order. If this aspect of your life is not organized, it may also affect your whole life. You may feel stressed, angry, frustrated, or even depressed over your finances.
To help you out, here are 20 tips on how you can become a financially responsible adult.
1. Don’t go beyond your means.
Even if you don’t have your personal finances in order, you have some idea of your financial capability. So don’t live beyond your means and spend less money than you can make. Don’t max out your credit card and always have savings by the end of the month — even if it’s just a few dollars. Having even 10 bucks by the last day of the month means you spent less than you can make.
2. Learn how to budget.
You need to have a budget, whether it be weekly or monthly. Find out how much you spend and earn in a month. Account for everything that happens with your money.
3. Have an emergency fund.
Aside from savings, you also need to have emergency money for at least three to six months of expenses. This is a contingency plan if ever you (hopefully not) lose your job, can’t work, home needs repair, car breaks down, or you get sick. Be prepared for anything by having savings for any situation.
4. Plan for the future.
In other words, invest! Try contributing to a traditional IRA, ROTH IRA, 401K, or a money market account.
5. Don’t pay your bills late!
Pay your bills on time! Your credit cards, rent, utilities, and medical bills have a due date for a reason.
6. Look at your credit report.
You should check your credit report at least once a year. Check for anything weird or amiss, so you know where your credit stands. This way, you can avoid getting your identity stolen.
7. Get life insurance.
Besides health and auto insurance, you will also need to get renters or homeowners and life insurance. You can also get disability insurance —the point is, look for insurance beyond the basic ones.
8. Don’t overspend.
This will be a series of don’ts — don’t be an impulse buyer, don’t be convinced by the words “sale, special, limited edition” and more. Control yourself and don’t buy things you don’t need. Save your money and buy something you really want or need — it will be more worth it.
9. Manage your debt.
Basically, try not to have debt. Pay your debt as soon as possible, and try to stay debt-free.
10. Buy smartly.
If you don’t have Oprah or Bill Gates’ bank account, then don’t shop like you’re a billionaire. You don’t need the latest car model or recently released iPhone. Try looking for a secondhand barely-used car or a different model of the same smartphone. Check for coupons, look at weekly specials, and watch out for promos — there are so many ways to save money!
11. Find work.
If you’re not employed, get any legal paying job. Don’t be picky or think that a certain job is beneath you. It might not be your dream job, but tutoring, bartending, babysitting, or working for a fast-food chain gives you experience…and money. If you need to work four jobs to live, then you have to try. Use this to earn and give you the opportunity to look for your dream job.
12. Prepare for job interviews.
Aside from dressing up properly, make sure to be prepared for the tough questions. Learn how to shake hands professionally and the right questions to ask.
13. Find out the job’s benefits.
Before you sign, find out what benefits you can get. Do they have a pension, 401k, health insurance, gym membership, tuition assistance, or student-loan forgiveness plan? How many vacation days or sick days will you get? Don’t be picky, but don’t rush into it as well.
14. Study the contract and read the fine print.
Anytime you will sign your name on anything, always study the contract and read the fine print before placing your signature. Whether it’s a new credit card, gym membership, realtor contract, or any legal document, ALWAYS read everything written. Find out how long is the bond, the additional interest rates and fees, the offer, and all the stipulations. Because once you sign, then you’re legally bound to anything said in the contract. So get all the information before you sign.
15. Know your taxes.
Learn the difference between federal, state, and local taxes. Find out how much is taken from your paycheck for each or being withheld as well. This way, you can set aside money to pay your taxes. You also need to know about deductions, estimated taxes, and how to file your taxes.
16. Learn how to buy a house.
Find out the steps, qualifications, and amount of money you need to buy a house.
17. Find out what you need to qualify for a mortgage.
Learn about the different mortgages and the amount you need to avoid private mortgage insurance.
18. Don’t just take.
You also need to give generously. Choose an organization you want to partner with or if you don’t have the money, donate your time, effort, and talents.
19. Learn more about financial services.
Find out the fees, minimum balance, interest rate, ATM charge, bank fees, money transferring charge and other fees of your savings, debit, and checking accounts.
20. Never get a family or friend loan.
Don’t borrow money from your family or friends. Don’t make it awkward or tense with them. Note that being given is different from borrowing money.
Based On The Materials From Still Being Molly
Photo Sources: Cafe Mom, Your Money, Flickr, Pixabay, Dover Air Force