Categories
Budgeting & Saving

How to Fix Bad Credit?

Wondering how to fix my credit myself? Or how to fix bad credit? There’s no doubt that living in the modern world requires credit. Yes, you can live without a credit card and survive on cash or cashback debit cards.

I know because I did it for over two years as I paid off credit card debt. But what I really wanted to do was improve my credit score immediately.

However, when you are ready to buy a house, you’ll need to get your credit straightened out. In this post I’ll discuss getting a credit repair service as well as what steps you need to take if you decide you want to fix your credit score yourself. You might even be able to fix your credit in just 6 months.

These steps are so easy. Perfect guide for do it yourself credit repair.

Related articles from our approved partners:

  • Three Tips to Get Approved for Better Loans at Better Rates
  • Free Credit Consultation – Includes Credit Report Summary & Score
  • Save $50 off Credit Repair Service

How Can I Fix Bad Credit Myself? – 6 MonthCredit Repair Guide

First, watch this video from my friend Dominique over at Your Finances Simplified. He’s going to tell you exactly how to fix your credit.

Watched the video? Good.
Feeling overwhelmed at the next steps?
Yep. I understand.
Let’s take this step by step.

Take a deep breath. People think that having bad credit is the worse thing that can happen. But just calm down. You are taking the first steps which puts you on the right track.

Remember, it’s just money.

No one is going to die. Take control and get back in the driver’s seat!

Fix 1: Check Bad Credit

The first thing you’ll need is your creditor information. Get the most recent credit card statements, loan balances, and installment loan reports along with addresses and phone numbers. I recommend printing everything old-school style. It’s going to come in handy later.

Fix 2: Get a Free Credit Report

Then, take a second to get your free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. Each year you are able to pull your credit report for free from the three providers Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.

Optional: Get Your Free Credit Score

You can check an approximation of your credit score for free at Credit Sesame one of our approved partners, but if you are trying to fix your credit, you probably already know your credit score looks a little like this….

bad credit personified

But that’s ok. We’re going to put you on the good foot.

Fix 3: Review your credit report for errors (highlight each error).

You’re getting ready to take charge and stop being a victim. Most people don’t even realize what they could get removed from their credit just because of errors.

What should you look for?

Wait a minute. So, you’re telling me you didn’t watch the video above?

Scroll back up for me right quick and you’ll find out exactly what you should look for.

Or keep reading…

Dispute incorrect names, addresses, SSN, and date of birth via the certified mail.

You will need supporting documentation and letters. You will have to write a dispute letter and include the specifics of the inaccuracies. You want to dispute inaccurate, erroneous, outdated, misleading, and unverifiable information in your credit reports.

Tired of being harassed by your creditors? Maybe you’d prefer that someone else handle all of this for you?

In that case, you might was to work with a credit repair company to improve your credit.

Are you ready to…

  • Remove bankruptcies to rebuild credit?
  • Permanently delete foreclosures and repossessions?
  • Erase debts that were in collection?
  • Completely get credit cards under control?
  • Get approved for loans?
  • Get the best financing on cars and homes?

In that case, check out our partner Lexington Law for more details on how they can help you clean up your credit report.

Finally, fixing your credit permanently also means creating good habits and getting out of debt.

How getting out of debt is like the MTV show, I Used to Be Fat.

I used to watch this TV show on MTV called I Used to Be Fat. The show documents young adults, usually high school seniors and high school graduates who want to lose weight before they start college. Each episode features a different teen. I absolutely LOVE this show. I like seeing the determination and perseverance of these kids, they are really focused on their goals. Most of them thought about quitting along the way but each one makes it to the end and they usually reach their goal.

I was thinking the other day about how the TV show is very similar to a battle with debt. When you’re in debt, it can feel like you’re carrying around a second person, experiencing frugal fatigue, or that you have a spare tire of bills around your waist. I know because I’m working on getting out of debt myself. I realized that there are 3 major points we can learn from the MTV show I Used to Be Fat when trying to take control of our debt.
debt

Improve Your Credit Step 1 – Give Yourself a Deadline

Before the teens even begin a weight loss program, their coach/personal trainer gives them a large tear off number calendar to place on their wall. It has the total number of days until their program completion date, and every day they rip off the next number.

It is a good idea, when you are paying off debt, to set a deadline for your debt-free date, like 6 months. Setting a deadline is a way of making your goal specific. Every time you look at that calendar or see that date it will push your brain consciously and subconsciously to make it to your ultimate goal, to reduce spending and get out of debt.

Improve Your Credit Step 2 – Check in Regularly with a Coach

Every week, the kids had a weigh in. Their personal trainer was making sure that they were on track with how much weight they were supposed to be losing at each stage in the process. Sometimes they were attempting to lose one pound a day! I never thought that was possible or healthy, but most of the teens actually accomplished it under the supervision of their coach.

If you really want to prioritize your goal of becoming debt free then you really have to give yourself check points. You can enlist the help of a friend or even a debt counselor to help you along the way. Having a good support system can make all the difference.

Improve Your Credit Step 3 – Get Rid of Old Habits and Create New Ones

When one of the teens was at a restaurant with her friends, she ordered a lean meal instead of the greasy french fries that her friends had. The personal trainer also taught her how to cook healthier meals so that she would be able to maintain her new lifestyle change.

Becoming debt-free is not a one-time goal. It has to be a lifestyle change. When I decided to start getting out of debt, I had to first evaluate why I was in debt in the first place. I had to eliminate my habit of impulse spending and replace that habit with a good habit. Now I impulse buy stocks and my portfolio loves it! It’s not easy to change a habit that took years to cultivate, but with a good support system, it is entirely possible.

Are you ready to make a change?

Some of you may be thinking, I’m still young, so why should I care about my credit score? Lots of people have debt and less than stellar credit, but they’re still enjoying a cushy lifestyle. As long as I’m able to buy the things that I want, why should I be concerned? The answer is simple. Life is easier when you have good credit.

Take a look at it this way. Landlords, employers, and lenders need to determine whether they can trust you, and they look at your credit score as an indicator of your financial reputation. You may not think credit affects you greatly, but it does. When you ruin your financial reputation (a.k.a. credit score), it will take you a long time to restore it.

Poor credit affects your ability to rent, buy a car, get a home loan, and even open up accounts. Creditors don’t want to work with people with bad credit because the risk of not getting paid is very high. How can they trust that you will pay them back if you haven’t even paid others? If you’ve already tarnished your credit, here are some tips to help you fix your credit score and reestablish your life.

Improve Your Credit Step 4 – Make Your Payments on Time

This may sound trivial, but we all know that money can be tight, and skipping payments on one bill can help pay for other expenses. But, timely payments are the biggest factor affecting your credit score. Keep a budget, and make sure you have sufficient funds to make your credit card and loan payments on time.

Improve Your Credit Step 5 – Consider Getting a Secured Credit Card

Obviously, it will be very hard to get a regular credit card if you have bad credit. If you don’t qualify for a credit card, you can get a secured card instead. This is when the bank gives you a credit line equal to the deposit you make. If used wisely, a secured card can help nurse your poor credit to better health.

Improve Your Credit Step 4 – Add an Installment Loan

You can improve your score quickly if you show that you can be responsible for both major kinds of credit: revolving (credit cards) and installment (mortgages, auto, student loans, etc.). If you don’t have an installment loan and feel you are ready to handle one, consider adding a small personal loan. Stay away from expensive finance companies and “teaser” deals, and use a company that reports the loan to all three credit bureaus.

Improve Your Credit Step 5 – Avoid the Minimum Payment Trap

Credit cards come with high interest rates. We all know how our $2,000 computer ended up costing $8,168 because we only made the minimum payments at 20% on our credit card. Ouch, that hurts! Keep constant payments on your credit card (and don’t run them up again) and your balances will drop.

Improve Your Credit Step 6 – Use Your Credit Cards Lightly and Check Your Limits

Even if you pay your bills on time and in full each month, having big balances can hurt your score. Try to limit charges to 30% or less of your card’s limit. Lenders typically like to see a big gap between how much you’re charging and your available credit limit.

Improve Your Credit Step 7 – Keep Old Credit Cards

Don’t close out old credit cards. The longer your credit history, the better. Leave the accounts open but once you pay them off, stop using them. Closed accounts tend to bring down your score.

Improve Your Credit Step 8 – Suspend Credit Inquiries

The more credit inquiries you have, the more your credit score drops. Fix your credit and wait a while before allowing your credit to be pulled again.

Improve Your Credit Step 9 – Get a Goodwill Adjustment

If you have been responsible about paying your credit cards on time, the lender may agree to erase a late payment from your credit history. For more troubled accounts, communicate with your lender about possible options to erase previous delinquencies. If the lender agrees, it will improve your overall record.

Improve Your Credit Step 10 – Check Your Credit Report for Errors

You can check your credit report without negative scoring (once per year, for free) with the three credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Make sure to look for any mistakes that could be hurting your score. If you see something wrong, make the effort to have it corrected.

Improve Your Credit Step 11 – Seek Professional Help

If you are overwhelmed with debt and don’t feel you can handle the problem on your own, consider working with a professional debt relief agent. They can help you explore your options and give you guidance on this post

It’s very easy to ruin your credit, but it takes time to build it back up. No matter how bad your credit is, you can take steps to make it better.

Sometimes we mishandle our budget, and we spend more than we should. (You know that you shouldn’t have bought that expensive flat screen TV). And, sometimes we end up in tough financial situations because of things beyond our control. Whether you have experienced job loss, illness, or another type of financial disruption, it’s important to know that you can turn things around.

It may not be easy, but step by step, you will be able to fix your financial situation. Just don’t delay facing the issue. The longer you wait, the harder it is for you to recover.

Categories
Budgeting & Saving

Here’s The Budget One Woman Used Before And After Paying Off $32,000 Of Debt

It was very difficult for me to reveal this information and I tried to be as open as possible without completely eliminating my privacy. Here’s the story on Business Insider about how I budgeted for my debt payoff. 

___

In 2011, LaTisha Styles decided it was time to pay off her $22,000 of credit-card debt and $10,000 auto loan.

The process took her three years and one month.

“In November of [2011], I moved to my own place in the city, single and without children,” she remembers. “I took a job with an investment adviser and slowly began the process of paying off my debt.”

At the time, her debt was delinquent (meaning she hadn’t been making payments), since she had graduated college without a job and went to live with her parents outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

On the day she was offered her new job, she sat down and created a budget, using a basic spreadsheet and working with Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions to manage her consumer debt.

Here, she shares an average monthly budget from 2013, when she was furiously paying down her debt, as well as one from 2014, the year she paid it off. Note that these are averages taken from a year’s worth of spending, so a single month isn’t represented, and the budget was created for her after-tax income. Continue reading on Business Insider.

 
Or, watch this video first about my debt payoff strategy.


 

Originally posted 2015-01-07 13:00:09.

Categories
Budgeting & Saving

15 Epic Ways to Increase Your Income to Accelerate Savings

Once you’ve changed your spending habits to increase your income and have mastered the art of reducing your existing expenses, you should be ready to look for more ways to increase your income.

In The Wealth Number, I suggest several ways to increase your income so you may accelerate savings.

Of course, the more you increase your income and save, the sooner you’ll be able to walk away from your mind-numbing day job.

One of the ways that I attempt to increase my current income is through real estate, entrepreneurship, book sales, and this blog.

Earlier year this year I flipped a house for a $40,000 gross profit, I’m working on a Software as a Service (SaaS) application, and I’m still trying to promote my book and this blog until they generate extra income.

The later two didn’t succeed as of yet, but they are projects that I choose to spend time building with the extra time that I have. These are projects that I work on with my “other eight hours.”

What Do You Do With Your Other “Eight Hours?”

Like you, I work about eight hours per day and sleep for another eight hours. In between those times there exists another eight hours, which can be used to work on projects, or side hustles, so you can increase your income to accelerate your savings.

Here are 15 ways that you can use your other eight hours to increase your income:

1. Dominate Your Existing Salary by asking for a raise – If you are a top performer, you may be able to make a successful case. The key to getting a raise is documenting everything, so you can make your case with specifics. Keep a log detailing your accomplishments both at and away from your job, including new degrees or certifications and ways you’ve saved the company money or have enhanced revenues. Be sure to research the going salary for someone with your education, skills, and experience. Use sites such as Salary.com and SalaryExpert, When you meet with your supervisor, don’t say you are asking for extra money because you need it; instead, make the case for how you’ve strengthened the company’s bottom line.

2. Search for Better Paying Jobs – Using he same research that you use in the tactic above, see what other jobs would be willing to pay  you for your increased skills and organization contributions. As long as you are growing your wealth number, you should have to worry about how you’re going to get by during a job transition. You’ll already be prepared.

3. Take a Second Job in the Evening or on the Weekend – Some 3.6 million Americans took on a second job part-time in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Aside from providing extra money, an extra job can help you explore a potential career or learn skills that may apply to your primary employment, says Hansen, of Quintessential Careers.

4. Become an Uber or Lyft Driver – If these driving services are in your city, they may be looking for new drivers. If you’re a people person and don’t mind driving strangers around in the evenings or the weekends, this side hustle may be just for you.

5. Start a Website (or a Blog) – If you have a lot to say and are passionate about writing and sharing this content, consider starting your own blog. Once blogs begin receiving a decent amount of traffic, they can earn money by way of indirect and direct advertisements, selling affiliate products, or selling sponsored posts, among other things. Don’t know how to get started, check out our free guide to start a blog.

6. Start working on a side business – Is your wealth number not large enough yet? That’s ok. Use crowd funding and let your friends, family, or strangers invest in your project. Crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow anyone to raise money from friends and strangers who want little more than to help bring an idea to life. Of the more than 30,000 projects successfully funded on Kickstarter since its 2009 launch, the vast majority have been the work of individuals, not companies, says a Kickstarter representative.

7. Rent Out Your Extra Home Space – One way to lower monthly housing costs is to take a renter into your home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 6.2 million adults lived with someone who wasn’t a relative in 2010 (the most recent figures), up from 5.3 million in 2007. City dwellers who don’t want to take on a long-term tenant can consider hosting tourists passing through town. Mikey Rox and Everett Morrow regularly rent the guest bedroom in their New York City condo to visitors who pay nearly $90 a night. In three years, they’ve made more than $75,000 by advertising on Craigslist, as well as on Airbnb and Roomorama, which take a percentage of the total booking fee paid by the guest.

8. Become A House, Child, or Pet-Sitter – If you don’t mind pet-sitting, check out sites such as Rover.com or Care.com and sign-up to become a sitter.

9. Become a Virtual Assistant – If you have lots of time on your hand and don’t mind working administrative tasks, consider listing your services as a virtual assistant on sites like Elance or Odesk.

10. Freelance Your Skills – There are many freelance jobs. You can work in graphic design, in video production, as a consultant or as a writer. Look at the skills that you currently have and then consider how you can offer those skills as a service to small businesses or families. Then begin marketing yourself and making contacts.

11. Sell What You’re Good At – You may have great skills as a stylist or barber. Or perhaps you enjoy cutting grass or painting. Find a way to get the word out to your family and friends and then begin selling this service.

12. Look for a Tutoring Gig – You can also teach what you know to others as a tutor. In addition to spreading the word locally, would-be tutors can post their offerings on websites like Tutorspree and WyzAnt. And people who are strong in math, science or other sought-after school subjects can teach individual students online through websites like Tutor.com.

See how Ryan made extra income as a tutor.

13. Build it, Then Sell It – Craft sites like Etsy and ArtFire aren’t just for artists selling their work; people make money selling a wide range of products, including handmade furniture and purses.

14. Self-publish a book or create an eBook – The explosive popularity of e-books has made it easier to turn prose into extra income. In 2010, Web strategist Scott McIntosh dashed off a 61-page e-book based on his knowledge of search engine optimization, then uploaded it onto the websites of Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook. With your skills and  combinations of services from sites such as Fiverr.com and Createspace, you can have your own book listed on Amazon or your own personal site for less than $100.

15. Create an App – Yep. If you have an idea for an App, it can become a reality by using sites such as Elance or Odesk. Benny Hsu knew nothing about programming when the 35-year-old manager of his family’s Jacksonville, Fla., restaurant seized on an idea last year that he thought would make a perfect iPhone app. Hsu’s total cost was just $1,900, much of that the fee he had to pay the programmer. The 99-cent app, Photo 365, proved so user-friendly it was featured by Apple, and it has so far earned Hsu $55,000.

Summary

You can get as creative as you want when it comes to earning extra money. Me, I like to focus on just a few things, which is why I’m only focusing on this blog and my app. I think both can become big wins as long as I’m consistently working to achieve my end goal.

Figure out how you’re going to use your other eight hours and make a goal to bring in an extra $100 monthly. You can do it.

Remember, the quicker you increase your income, the more you can save. And the more you save, the quicker you’ll be able to “walk away” from a job you don’t really like.

Originally posted 2014-12-04 06:00:11.

Categories
Budgeting & Saving

When an Engagement Ring is a Bad Investment

Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, everyone I know is getting engaged. In 2012 the average engagement ring cost $4,000, according to a 2013 report from Jewelers of America. That same year, the median salary of a twenty-something with a bachelor’s degree was $46,900. That means that if you were 25 years old and getting engaged, you’d spend about 10% of your salary on a ring.

I don’t think most people I know are contributing 10% of their salary to a retirement account, but somehow it’s considered normal to spend that amount on a diamond? I hope it’ll be keeping you warm when you’re collecting social security.

But no matter what I think about engagement rings, there are still ways to get one AND be financially responsible. So here are four examples of when not to buy an engagement ring.

You don’t have an emergency fund

Traditional ring-shopping guidelines say you should spend two-month’s salary on a ring. Most personal finance experts recommend you have three to six month’s worth of expenses as an emergency fund. So in between all this saving (which can take years to do) how are you supposed to prioritize? What’s the point of having a two-carat diamond on your finger when you can’t afford to fix the transmission on your car? Before you buy the ring, have three month’s worth of expenses in your bank account. And if your partner isn’t financially savvy, figure out their assets. You don’t want to drop $5,000 on a ring to find out that your future wife has $20,000 in credit card debt.

You aren’t contributing enough to retirement

Most experts recommend putting 10-15% of your gross salary toward your retirement. At the very least, you should put away enough to get whatever match your employer might offer. So before you head to your local jeweler, check that your contributions are on par. If you’ve switched jobs lately or gotten a promotion, confirm that your 401k has increased as well.

You don’t have the cash to pay for it

If I had to list the worst personal finance decisions I’ve heard of, taking a loan out to pay for an engagement ring would be right up there with getting furniture on layaway or trying your hand at day trading. Loans are sometimes necessary. I wouldn’t have been able to go to the college I chose without taking loans. And sometimes it makes more to take out a loan if the interest rate is super low. But I doubt whatever loan you get for a ring would be better than saving the money yourself. Plus once you get the ring, you can start saving that money for your wedding, honeymoon or down payment. Creating a habit of saving can also make you think twice before you buy that diamond. Once you see it’s taken you months to save for something, you’ll have more of an appreciation for your money.

You’re in debt

When you spend thousands on a ring when you have thousands (or more) in debt, you’re only continuing the notion that it’s ok to buy what you want when you can’t pay for it. Why start your married life with a loan? There’s no rule that says the ring you get at the beginning of your marriage should be the final one. Maybe you get a placeholder rock until it makes sense to buy a diamond. Maybe you get a pre-owned ring for 50% off or scour vintage stores for unique ideas. Be honest with your fiance. Most people prefer to marry someone that is thinking about their future instead of buying something just because society tells him to.

If you want an engagement ring, then get one. Discuss your budget, pick it out together and make sure it’s what you both want. But before you do, make sure that you can truly afford it.

Originally posted 2014-11-17 06:00:47.

Categories
Budgeting & Saving

Credit Card Use for a Good Credit Score Looks Like This

Young people graduating from college have a lot of things on their minds.  The usual suspects are student loans, finding a job and eating food.  And not necessarily in that order.  One thing many graduates don’t think about is their credit score, and this can end up costing them a lot of money in the long run.  All it takes is using a credit card responsibly and appropriately to start a long term history of great credit.

Most people will end up buying a house or a car in their lifetime.  They might also rent an apartment or sign up for a credit card.  In most of these cases, the company will want to know what kind of borrower you are.  Instead of taking the time to look through all of your transactions, the company will look at your credit score.

Fair or not, it is essentially a summary of your credit worthiness boiled down to one single number.

How Can I Get a Good Credit Score?

The most widely used credit score is the one by FICO, which calculates your score on a scale from 300-850.  While the exact algorithm the company uses to calculate your score is not known, they do make it known what factors make up your score.  This way, you can easily figure out what you need to do to improve your score.

According to the chart on their website, 80% of your credit score is determined by your payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%) and length of credit history (10%).

 

Want to check your credit score? Sign up for Score Watch from MyFICO.com.

All three of these factors can be optimized by simply signing up for a credit card early in your career and using it wisely.  Here’s how.

Payment history

This looks at your history of on time payments.  You obviously want a long history of on time and, ideally, in full payments on your credit card.  That means paying off the total amount of your bill before the due date.

Every.

Single.

Time.

Amounts owed

This mainly looks at the amount you owe versus your credit limit, typically referred to as your credit ratio.  If the limit on your card is $1,000 and you routinely spend $999 every month, that doesn’t look good at all.  You want to have a low ratio, meaning if your limit is around $1,000 you want to spend around $200.  This means that increasing your credit limit is actually a good thing, as long as you don’t increase your spending.

Length of credit history

There’s nothing you can really do about this except to get a time machine and zip 10 years into the future.  Lenders want to see that you have an established history of paying your debts on time, so that’s why it’s important to get a card early on and use it wisely.  Getting a card in freshman year and listening to the words of wisdom in this post will already give you a solid 4 years of good credit history.

Looking at the FICO chart can also tell you what NOT to do with that credit card.  Doing things like being late with bills and maxing out your credit limit will throw up numerous red flags and will cause your score to plummet.  While it’s good to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them, it’s even better to recognize them beforehand and never make them in the first place.

Having a great credit score will give you favorable interest rates on your car loan, mortgage or any other loan you may have to take.  This can lead to savings of thousands of dollars over one’s lifetime.  Starting your credit history with responsible credit card use can go a long way to make this happen.

Are you ready to build credit wisely? Click here to see the card I recommend as the best credit card for young adults. The card allows you to get your credit score free each month.

Originally posted 2014-11-14 06:00:04.

Categories
Budgeting & Saving

5 Essential Money Habits for Financial Success

It seems like personal finance doesn’t become a priority to some people until something bad has happened. This can be because you don’t necessarily grow up with personal finance lessons, or maybe you don’t have the best examples to follow. Before things get out of hand, or if you’re in the process of building goals to reach financial independence, following these 5 good money habits will have you in great shape:

Keep Cash on Hand

One thing my family and friends know and can’t stand about me is that I almost never have cash on hand. I take for granted that most places accept debit or credit, so I don’t see a reason to carry cash. Aside from being prepared for those rare moments when an establishment is cash only (or if the parking meter only takes coins and not plastic), you should keep cash on hand for emergency situations, as well as a way to budget better. I’ve noticed that when I have cash on me, I’m more wise about my spending decisions. With my debit card being linked to my checking account, I don’t “see” the money, so it disappears a lot easier as well. Start keeping a set amount of cash in your wallet, even if you get paid via direct deposit.

Check Your Banking Activity Daily

It’s no secret that big companies are not exempt from being hit by hackers. Some of the biggest breaches lately have been Target and Home Depot, where consumers who used their debit or credit cards had their information vulnerable to thieves. While some were safe, just inconvenienced by having to get a new card issued, some people had fraudulent charges on their card, and lost a lot of money. They didn’t realize it because they weren’t monitoring their banking activity. Daily sounds a bit excessive, but it takes less than 5 minutes to check your recent activity in online banking. If you notice a charge that is unfamiliar to you, notify your bank immediately.

Check Your Credit Monthly

This is important, especially when you’re building or repairing your credit. There are 5 major factors that determine your credit score, but you should also keep watch of the things that appear on your credit report. Identity theft happens to many people, and is not found right away because the person either doesn’t have credit monitoring set up, or they don’t manually look over their report themselves. You are entitled to a free credit report from all three bureaus once a year, but it would be a good idea to invest in credit monitoring so that you may keep track of your accounts and your score.

Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get your no strings attached free credit report. For credit monitoring, try Score Watch from MyFICO.com.

Set Up Automatic Savings Contributions

Saving money is hard to do when you have to remember to do it. To alleviate that pain, you should set up automatic contributions to your savings account. This has been proven to increase savings balances, because it’s set it and forget it. It doesn’t have to be a large amount of money as long as it’s consistent. I have $50 automatically deposited into my Capital One 360 account every payday, and it’s nice to see that account grow without me having to think about it.

Review Your Budget

Your budget this month might not be the same 6 months from now. You should review your budget with new responsibilities or lifestyle changes. See how much money you have leftover after bills have been paid. Can you spend less in one category? Eliminate one altogether? Is one bill set to increase soon? Reviewing your budget and adjusting accordingly will close those opportunities for money to go into the abyss, and can help you save more money in the long run.

Need help creating a budget? Get a budgeting template and tools for financial success in the Young Finances Toolkit.

What are some other money habits you suggest? Do you follow the ones above?

Originally posted 2014-11-12 06:00:27.