Get Smarter With Your Money Now
Learn to be financially savvy
No matter if you’re 20 or 40, there are things you can do to be smarter with your money. Even if you don’t think you make enough money to save anything, think again.
Get smart with money now, and learn what it takes to be financially savvy.
Be smarter with money
Andrea Woroch, nationally-recognized consumer-finance expert, shared her tips for women to consider in their 20’s and 30’s:
In your 20s
Start saving for retirement. Even if you don’t think you’re making enough money, there’s always room in your budget to put a little away. And, if your company offers a 401k with company match, that’s free money. Usually it’s up to 3% or 5%, depending on the company, so max that out. The power of compounded interest means the money you put away in your 20s will be the ticket to retiring earlier and more comfortably. Every time you get a raise, increase your contribution by a few percent points.
Keep your college budget even after you graduate. Don’t fall into the trap of living large now that you have a steady paycheck. You are already used to living frugally, so do it for a little longer until you pay off your debts. Live at home or get roommates, and buy a used car if you need one for work. Otherwise take public transportation, eat at home whenever possible and skip pricey cable packages.
In your 30s
Now that you’re making more money and moving forward with major life events like getting married, buying a home and possibly having a family, it’s time to get serious about your budget, investments and bills. Meet with a certified financial planner to help manage your money and future savings. Just as you would seek expert guidance on car maintenance, a financial expert can guide you toward making better investment decisions to help you retire with more. Plus, he or she can help you realize which spending habits are causing you to bust your budget.
Know your score! Regardless of your current debt situation, face up and review your score regularly. At sites like MyLendingTree.com , you can review your score for free and the site updates you regularly on positive or negative changes. Plus, it will let you know if there are any opportunities to save on current credit card interest by consolidating to a low-interest personal loan. Being aware and visualizing your number will help you make better decisions with your money and help you manage debt. Use the ReadyForZero app for debt repayment motivation!. You should also check your credit report every year since it’s free. This way you can spot any fraud or mistakes which is crucial if you’re planning on taking out a mortgage or auto loan.
In your 40's
At this point all of the sacrifices of your 20's and 30's should start paying off, said Christopher Charles, author of Molding Money for Your Family. “Hopefully you're in a position now to contemplate freedom from work. Not retirement, per se, just the flexibility to do what you want and not be a slave to a job you hate. But still avoid overspending. It should be second nature by now.”
Know that it’s never too early, or too late, to get smarter with money. Follow the advice of financial experts and start saving today. There’s no point in waiting another day.