Chances are that money is one of your largest sources of stress and anxiety. That’s common, especially at this point in your life. There’s nothing wrong with admitting there’s a learning curve to this whole adulting thing.
Everyone goes through the process of getting their financial life in order. You don’t need to be making a lot of money to be in good financial standing. Sometimes, the trick is just knowing how to get the ball rolling.
In this blog, you’re going to read about the little things that make a big difference.
For some, the end goal of confidence in your money situation seems nearly impossible, especially right after college or into a new career. Luckily, these tips work for you no matter what; the trick is making sure to start today.
No financial problem is out of your control. Let’s talk about simple ways to improve your finances.
1. Start investing – even if you just start small
Whenever you hear about adults making big money decisions, it often involves some amount of investing. Investing is an important part of growing wealth and finding your financial footing. Investing should be a crucial part of your financial plans.
Many people in your stage of life assume investing can’t happen at this point. Investments seem like something that becomes possible only after establishing yourself. The fact of the matter is any sort of investment, whether large or small, can make a difference.
Investing early is a crucial way to ensure you take full advantage of compounding returns. Compounding returns refer to the money grown through investments over a long time period. Even if it’s a small amount, starting now can have a huge impact down the road.
If the idea of investing seems intimidating, consider starting with a small amount and using a user-friendly app like Acorns. Acorns allows you to set up recurring investments that can be invested using different settings based on risk and return. Plus, you can track how your investments are doing in real-time using the app.
Sign up for Acorns and start investing your spare change, a few bucks a week, or whatever is left behind after taking care of bills and expenses.
2. Earn real interest on your savings account
Interest is an easy way to let your money work for you. Interest is practically free money for keeping your money with a certain institution. While slim, interest rates turn money that’s just sitting there into another income stream.
A lot of banks offer interest on their savings accounts. The issue is that these rates are usually low, sometimes as low as 0.01%. Luckily, more practical options are available thanks to online banks.
When online banking first emerged, it was tough to convince people to move their money to these new institutions. With time, people have come to rely on online banking for convenience and user-friendly experiences on-the-go. Plus, these interest rates on savings accounts are really hard to ignore.
Online savings accounts offer over 2.00% interest to users, making them an essential tool to help grow your money. That’s as much as 200 times the return you’d get from your local bank!
Places like CIT Bank offer you higher interest rates than any traditional bank. Plus, you don’t have to deal with opening or maintenance fees.
Opening a high-interest online savings account (like the CIT Bank Savings Builder account) is a must for you as you start these early steps of firming up your finances.
3. Refinance your student loans
If you’re fresh out of college, let’s be honest: student loans are probably a part of your financial situation.
Even worse, they’re not likely to disappear anytime soon, even with regular payments. A lot of students make payments to their school loans for years, even decades, after graduation.
That might not need to be the case, however. If you qualify for a low-interest rate on your loan, you can save money. If you really want to get rid of them, this option can also give you the ability to pay them off faster.
Resources like Credible help to make it easy to refinance student loans. You might still have a few years of payments ahead of you, but this way, you’re getting the best rate possible. At the very least, it’s good to know the options you have.
Refinance with Credible to search for the best interest rates on student loans. It doesn’t hurt to look, and you might find a way to lower your monthly payments. Even better, your costs might be low enough to speed up loan repayment.
4. Know your (net) worth
In the news, you always hear about an athlete or celebrity’s net worth. Why are we obsessed with this? Well, it gives us an idea of the financial growth attributed to their work and current situation.
While it’s fun to follow a movie star’s millions, your net worth matters too. You might not have a lot of money now, but tracking its growth can help you stay focused. In real-time, a net worth tracker can let you know how you’re growing, as well as areas in which you can improve.
Personal finances are easy to track and manage when you know your net worth. Taking advantage of places like Personal Capital can make improving your financial standing feel tangible. As you see progress in goals you set for yourself, you’ll notice an increased sense of pride and focus.
Create a Personal Capital account to maximize your understanding of your finances. Ignoring issues helps nobody, and having eyes on all aspects of your net worth helps to identify where you need to put your focus.
5. Keep an eye on your credit score
Out of college, you might not be buying a home. You might even be driving an old car, putting any sort of automobile purchase far into the future. Either way, the day will eventually come, and a credit score is going to dictate what sort of loans you receive.
A credit score is determined by your outstanding debt, available credit, and payment history on things like student loans and credit cards. In your situation, you likely have both. Paying down debt is important, and it helps to know that on-time payments are important.
When you do find yourself ready to buy a house or car, you’ll want a good credit score to receive the best interest rates. Keep an eye on your credit score using tools like Credit Sesame, which track these things for you at no cost. The app teaches you how to improve your credit score, as well as areas that could use a little work.
Taking steps to work on your credit score now will be quite useful down the road. Download the Credit Sesame mobile app to take this information with you on the go.
6. Lower your bills and cut unnecessary expenses
In your situation, you might not have a ton of essential bills. Of course, you’re likely paying utilities and things like renters’ and car insurance. In a lot of cases, better deals are waiting for you from other providers.
Not to mention, think about the bills you have that aren’t essential. Things like subscriptions and memberships might seem like a good idea at first, but are you really using them? That $5-$10 a month per subscription seems small on its own, but they add up.
When you’re fresh out of school or in a new career, you need to make the most of your money. Trim Savings is a great way to figure out if you’re spending money you could be saving. In fact, they’ll alert you of money you could be saving on essential and non-essential bills.
On the app, you can negotiate rates for your utilities, find cheaper insurance, and get a snapshot of all subscriptions you pay for. This can lead to a lot of saved money. Download the Trim Savings mobile app to get back the money you don’t need to be spending, for whatever reason.
7. Find ways to earn money in your free time
You probably have friends that always seem to have cash on them. Even if they’re barely paying the bills, they always seem to be down to eat out or take people on dates. They don’t have a secret; they might just be making money in their free time.
Whether it’s the holidays, a little something for yourself, or a date you’re trying to impress, a little extra money doesn’t hurt. That’s why a lot of people have started making money by providing their insights to companies about products and services.
Places like Swagbucks.com let you earn extra money or gift cards by watching videos and filling out questionnaires for companies. Next time you’re bored and scrolling through social media, hop on Swagbucks instead. You’ll be surprised how quickly your free time can turn into extra money for fun nights out and non-essential purchases.
8. Continue learning about personal finance
Personal finance doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. If you’re tired of feeling overwhelmed and ashamed about your financial situation, it’s time to take action.
While you may not become a millionaire overnight, it’s possible to learn the basics of personal finance and start making better decisions with your money. You deserve to feel secure about your financial future.
Start by learning about the basics of personal finance. By joining our free personal finance boot camp, you’ll be guided through a series of simple steps that can give you confidence and peace of mind about your money.
Join our FREE 7 Days to Financial Confidence Email Course!
You’ll also receive a copy of our “6 Simple Steps to Financial Security” cheat sheet immediately.
Finding your financial footing isn’t about some trick or make money quick scheme. In reality, there’s no magic trick to instant stability and organization.
However, there are easy steps you can take to prepare for the future and improve your current finances. Little steps towards better money habits can lead to big improvements in your life.
Take full advantage of these tips and resources to get a good grasp of your wealth. Start today; there’s no better time to improve your finances than the present.
“Future you” will be thankful you did.