Good financial habits aren’t just for investors and money managers. With great habits, you can make investments, grow your savings account, and get out of debt. The sooner you ditch the bad habits ($10 takeout for lunch every day) and start the good ones (meal planning), the more your financial health and literacy will grow. Here are four great habits to start right now, Make any of these changes and you’ll see immediate and long-term changes for the better.
Set up no-brainer investments.
The world of investing can seem overwhelming. You might feel like you have no idea to start and don’t want to hire someone to manage your investments for you. Thankfully, there are easier ways to invest. Something like the Canadian Couch Potato portfolio is stress-free and easy to manage. You can set up recurring contributions and use an easy portfolio management tool. Create a target portfolio and let the software handle the rest. As you continue to make investments, you’ll learn more about the process, so this is a great first step for anyone struggling to understand mutual funds and index funds. Automate your profile and watch your retirement savings grow.
Always do a price comparison before buying an item or starting a service.
When it’s time to buy a product or sign up for a service or utility, do a comparison search before pulling the trigger. You might have never done a comparison search on your utility providers, but doing some research will help you get the best deal possible and save money.
A great website like moneygains.co.uk can help you understand the different offers out there and what to choose. They make it easy to compare prices and find the best provider. Don’t buy anything without doing a price comparison. This allows you to find the best deal while also putting thought into your purchase. You might decide you don’t need a cable provider after all and opt for just streaming services. Thinking about every penny you spend will help instill great money habits.
Check your finances every morning.
For many people, checking their bank accounts is stressful. You might feel like you need to ignore your finances. You set up automated payments and use credit cards so you never have to check your accounts. This is exactly the kind of bad financial habit you need to stop. Not keeping an eye on your accounts means you’re more likely to overdraw, you’re more stressed when you do check it, and you never know exactly where you stand. Instead, check your accounts every morning. You can use a website like Mint.com to combine your accounts and give you a picture of your overall finances. Knowing the details of your finances means you’re never surprised. You’ll feel more in control and confident about your money.
Focus on paying debts.
If you have a large amount of debt, whether it’s student loans or credit cards, you need to start focusing on paying it back. Debt can drain your income, make it impossible to get a new car or mortgage, and can make you feel hopeless. Instead of ignoring your debt or only making the minimum payments, it’s time to start crushing your debts. Make a plan for paying off any loans you have, starting with the loan with the highest interest rate. Pay off your loans in descending order of interest rate to save the most money and pay them off as quickly as possible. If this means you work an extra job or have a little less spending money, it’s worth it. Once you pay off your debt, you’ll have more funds and less stress.
Make a plan to start these four financial habits right away. You’ll learn more about your money and how to spend and save it. Become financially literate and you’re on your way to financial independence.