Between boosting credit scores and making sure the bills get paid on time, there is an incredible number of things that contribute to our financial stability. That’s why it’s so important to get organized and come up with a strategy to ensure your money is going to the right places. Not only will it help you stay comfortable now, but it will also enable you to maintain your lifestyle when you retire.
Think about ways you can take your financial health to the next level. For some, paying off credit cards is a major move; for others, creating a realistic budget they can stick to is the best way to go. The moves you choose could have an effect on your finances for years to come, so it’s crucial to think carefully about where you want to start.
Here are a few places you can begin when you’re ready to whip your finances into shape.
Shopping around auto insurance can help you save money, as there are many factors that go into the cost. What determines your rate at one company may determine a cheaper price at another, so look for online comparison tools to help narrow down the choices. Keep in mind that many companies ask that you provide a deposit upfront to get your policy started, and most insurers will give you a discount if you pay your premiums in full or set automatic drafts for monthly payments.
However, if you pay your bill monthly, you can often save money by signing up for automatic bill pay. This will help to prevent any issues with paying your bill on time so you never have to worry about getting a ding on your credit score.
Save Up for Property
While owning a home can be a big step, it makes financial sense for many people who have rented for years and want their money to go toward something they can call their own. So, start saving now so you can put a good down payment on the home of your dreams, which will allow you to get a great interest rate and mortgage payment. And as Redfin points out, when you’re ready to start looking, make sure you have a great agent who can help you tackle the process, and get pre-approved for a loan so you know exactly how much house you can afford.
One of the areas you’ll need to be realistic in is budgeting. You may want to start saving for a big purchase or for retirement, and that’s great! But don’t feel you have to get rid of all your spending all at once. Not only will this not work, but it will also lead to frustration on your part. Start by reducing one cost, such as switching out cable for a streaming service. Or, you can start clipping coupons and put them together with online promo codes and other savings every time you go shopping. Then, you can move on to something bigger.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit
These days, technology has made it much easier for us to keep track of our credit scores, and that’s an important task. Your credit score has an effect on your ability to get a house or car or to apply for any lines of credit for the next seven years, and everything from medical bills to credit cards is included. So, pay off your bills on time, and if you already have outstanding balances, don’t open new lines of credit until you can pay them down. Download a credit score app so you can keep track of what’s going on with your score.
Getting a handle on your finances can definitely take some time, so try to be patient as you work your way through the process. You might want to figure out a budget with your spouse or partner or start a savings account that will give you peace of mind for the future. With a little planning, you can boost your financial health in no time.
Gloria Martinez of WomenLed.org