No matter if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck or you’ve got a nice emergency fund built up for yourself, you could probably use a bit more money at the end of the day. Freedom Debt Relief has found that the best financial advice is universally applicable because it involves a change of mind and thought processes that lead to improved long-term financial habits instead of gimmicky investing strategies that involve a degree in finance to understand. Freedom Debt Relief has compiled some of the best money and finance tips that will work for anyone, no matter their lifestyle. Try applying some of these to your daily investing strategies (or lack thereof), and start on the path to a brighter financial future- no matter your starting point.
Build an emergency fund. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, don’t panic- your situation is unfortunately not unique. Freedom Debt Relief has found that Americans are in particularly poor financial shape- 63% of Americans have less than $500 in savings, which can mean financial ruin should an unexpected medical bill or auto payment come about. One of your first financial goals should be to begin or build up an emergency fund in case you are presented with an unexpected bill. If you already have an emergency fund started, you should continue to add to it until you reach an amount that can help you in the event of a major financial crisis like losing your job- Freedom Debt Relief recommends holding about 3 months worth of expenses in your emergency fund.
Manage your student loans. One of the major sources of debt in America, student loans have plagued an almost endless number of college graduates. While a college education can be a great long-term investment, students should be encouraged to invest smarter at the beginning of their post-high school educational crusade; you should not take out more in student loans than you expect to make your first year out of college. If you’ve already taken out loans and are having trouble making the minimum payments, try contacting your loan provider- you may qualify for deferred payments or income-based payment plans.
Make your credit card work for your needs. Depending on your financial situation, you’ll have unique needs that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a credit card. If you’re still in debt and are trapped in a cycle of minimum payments, choose a credit card that prioritizes minimal interest charges- this will allow you to pay off your debt faster so you can move onto more rewarding and fun credit cards. If you are on stable enough financial ground that you can afford to pay off your balance in full each month, compare the rewards programs offered by each card, and choose one that aligns with how you spend your money. From airline mile bonus points to cash back rewards when eating out, there’s an almost endless number of ways that credit card companies are fighting to win your business- you just need to decide which rewards are most appealing to you.
Begin saving for college. The earlier you start saving for college, the better. If you’re expecting a child, get in the habit of putting away at least $25 a month into a dedicated college savings account for your little one. Though the expense of college can be daunting, even small amounts saved every month can quickly add up to a comprehensive account that can help minimize loans when your child graduates high school.
Freedom Debt Relief knows that, no matter your lifestyle, the most important thing in your financial future is saving for the things that are most important to the people you love. Whether it’s creating a retirement account so you can spend your golden years with the one you love or it’s creating a college account so your child can have a shot at a brighter future, taking simple money-management and savings advice will start you on the road to building up your financial future.