Chances are that money is one of your largest sources of stress and anxiety.
You’re not alone in this. Whether you’re fresh out of college or already starting to plan ahead for retirement, everyone must through the process of getting their financial life in order at some point.
You can take control of your finances no matter how much or how little you earn. Simply taking a few small steps now things can make a huge difference down the road.
In this blog post, you’ll learn a few quick and easy things you can do now to become more confident in your financial situation.
1. Know your (net) worth
You’ve decided you want to get your finances in order and start planning ahead for the future. How do you measure your success?
“Net worth” isn’t just a number for celebrities, professional athletes, and tech company founders.
Knowing your net worth (in other words, what you own versus what you owe) is one of the best benchmarks you can use to track your own financial progress over time.
Tools like Personal Capital make it easier than ever to monitor your net worth in real-time without ever having to pull out a calculator.
You may not have a lot of money now, but tracking your net worth puts a clear number to your financial goals, shows you where your money is going, and identifies the areas where you can still improve.
Create a Personal Capital account to start tracking your net worth. You’ll gain a better understanding of your finances and you’ll feel pride and satisfaction as your net worth grows.
2. Keep an eye on your credit score
You may or may not be ready to buy your next car or a new home right now, but when the day comes, your credit score will help determine if you can get a loan and just how much interest you’ll pay.
Your credit score is primarily determined by your:
- How much you owe
- How much you have available
- Your payment history
- How long you’ve been using credit
Don’t wait until your next major purchase to start improving your credit score.
Services like Credit Sesame will teach you more about credit works and protect your identity, so you can have the best chance to qualify for the best loans and interest rates.
If you need to increase your credit score, the best time to start making progress is now.
Join Credit Sesame to start tracking your credit score and planning for your next big purchase. Giving your credit score just a little attention now can help you save thousands of dollars in paid interest down the road.
3. Lower the cost of your internet and phone bills
Is there anything more frustrating than being locked into an internet or phone contract and finding out you could be getting a better deal on your service?
The utility industry is more competitive than ever. Odds are, you could be getting a better deal on your phone or internet service, and all you have to do is ask!
Of course, nobody wants to spend hours waiting on the phone or chatting with a help desk agent… Much less if you know you’ll have to negotiate under pressure!
Thankfully, you can still save hundreds of dollars on your bills by working with a financial assistant like Trim. They’ll do all of the hard work for you. It’s free to sign up, and you don’t pay anything unless they’re able to save you money.
The tool will also help you keep track of all your subscriptions and memberships. Even at just $5 or $10 each, that money can really add up! Why not put it toward something better instead?
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.
Sign up for the Trim Financial Manager to see if they can help you negotiate the best rates on your utilities and find other ways to save.
4. Find fun ways to earn money in your free time
Whether it’s saving up for a vacation, buying a gift for a loved one, or wanting to treat yourself on a night out, it never hurts to have a little extra money in your bank account.
You may not be able to pick up overtime at work or start working a second job, but there are still ways you can earn extra money in your free time.
One of the simple ways you can get started with little commitment?
Swagbucks.com makes it easy to earn extra money or gift cards by doing things you’re probably already doing: shopping online, watching videos, surfing the web, and filling out questionnaires for companies.
Next time you’re bored and scrolling through social media, why not spend some time earning a little extra money instead?
Create an account with Swagbucks. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your free time can turn into some extra money and gift cards for a fun night out or other purchases.
5. Start investing – even if you start small
Investing in the stock market, having rental properties, and owning a business…These are the three things that people with the highest net worths in the world are doing with their wealth.
The simplest way for you to start building your own wealth?
To start investing at an early age is crucial if you want to enjoy the benefits of compounding returns. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest, mobile apps like Acorns make it easier than ever to get started.
The fact of the matter is any sort of investment, whether large or small, can make a difference in your future. You can start with a small amount and track how your investments are doing in real-time.
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.
6. Earn more interest on your savings account
You spend hours of every work earning money… Wouldn’t it be nice if your money could work for you?
That’s practically what happens when you earn interest on your savings account.
Unfortunately, most traditional banks offer interest rates as low as 0.01%. You read that right, one-hundredth of one percent!
Thankfully, online institutions like CIT Bank have shown up and started offering interest rates that could be 200 times higher than your local bank.
Earning 2% on your savings account can be an essential tool for growing your money. These online high-yield savings accounts offer a user-friendly interface, and best of all, there’s no fee to open or maintain your account.
Opening a CIT Bank Savings Builder account to start earning more interest on your savings and watch your money work for you.
7. Refinance your student loans
If you’ve ever attended college, let’s be honest: student loans are probably a part of your financial situation.
Even with regular payments, your student loans may not be going anywhere soon. A lot of students make payments to their school loans for years, even decades, after graduation.
To pay off your student loans and become debt-free as quickly as possible, you’ll want to get the lowest interest rate possible. Using a resource like Credible can help you find the best deals on student loans and refinancing what you already owe.
You might still have a few years of payments ahead of you, but this way, you’re getting the best rate possible. Doing this can help you lower your payment or pay off your loan even faster.
Refinance with Credible to search for the best interest rates on student loans. It’s time to put less money toward paying interest and more money to becoming debt-free as early as possible.
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.