If there is one thing that every person should learn to master in their lifetime, it is personal finance. Personal financial literacy means achieving financial goals while being wise with your money. Mastering how to handle money and all the aspects of how it can affect your life is imperative to leading a successful life.
Everything from managing debt to saving should be adequately understood. To help along the path to financial literacy, Brice Capital shares this guide to personal finances and essential concepts that you should follow.
Living Within Your Means
The first step to effectively managing your personal finances is ensuring that you are living within your means. What does this mean? Basically, do not spend more than what you can afford. Every day, we may be tempted to live beyond our means and lead a more luxurious life. However, luxury comes at a price, and the reality is that the price is sometimes way too steep.
You will never be able to get your finances in order if you are maxing out all of your credit cards on luxuries. That money could be better used for either necessities or saving. While the temptation may be present, learning to resist purchases you cannot afford will do you a lot of good in the long term.
As a child, many of us were taught to put money into a piggy bank and not to touch it unless we needed it. While adults certainly have no such novelty item at their disposal, the concept of saving remains. Saving your money and setting it aside can prove to be useful for important funds such as retirement or an unexpected emergency.
Practicing the concept of saving requires a lot of self-restraint, especially when you are in areas where you may be tempted to make an impulsive purchase. However, you should learn how to build funds over time and learn to create a source of money that you won’t touch.
If you want to achieve the necessary financing to purchase commodities such as houses or vehicles, having a great credit score is your best bet. Having a great credit score will show potential lenders that you are a responsible candidate who can pay bills on time. This means that when you are applying for a mortgage, banks can lend you money with the confidence that they will get their money back in the agreed upon time frame.
Building credit is an important thing to do, but it is also simple to start. In fact, many college students are beginning to build a credit profile by applying for credit cards. Credit cards are typically the quickest way to start building credit. The most important thing to do is to make sure that you pay your bills on time. Credit is important, but not so important that one should go into debt in the name of building their credit score.
Ideally, you will want to have a credit score of 720 or more. Having anything in between 620 and the low 700s is considered to be average credit. Anything less than that is considered to be poor credit.
In addition to being responsible with your monthly payments, you also do not want to want to spend more than you need to. A general rule of thumb is never to spend more than a third of your credit limit. The moment you miss a payment, you will begin a vicious cycle. For issues regarding debt, industry experts such as Brice Capital can help you with debt consolidation loans and helpful advice.
If you have ever borrowed money from someone, you are indebted to them. In the real world, borrowing money comes with interest. It is generally advised never to take out a loan if you do not need it, and if you do have to borrow money, only borrow what you need. Debt can lead to lifelong problems if it remains unpaid.
Sometimes, debt can be good for you in the sense that it gives you the chance to show that you can pay monthly bills on time and prove your responsibility to lenders. It can also be the necessary steppingstone between success and failure in a new business venture. However, the longer that debt remains, the longer you will spend paying growing interest. Fortunately, there are industry experts such as Brice Capital that can help you with debt consolidation loans to help you manage debt effectively.
Not only is debt important, but consolidating that debt so that you can get the lowest interest rate possible. What extends the shelf life of any loan you take out is the interest rate, and getting it lower will save you a lot of headaches.
There are experts in the industry of debt consolidation, such as Brice Capital that can help you get more favorable interest rates. Consolidating your debt may prove to be the quickest route for you to get rid of it altogether.
Remove Unnecessary Expenses
In the world of finance, the last thing you want is to have unnecessary expenses that you are responsible for. That monthly Netflix subscription? Your gym membership in which you are only present once every couple of weeks? Consistently going to Starbucks to get your coffee fix? You may not know it if you evaluate each purchase individually. However, if you were to calculate all of these costs and add them up over the year, this could potentially be up to thousands of dollars you are throwing away.
Paying for things such as food, water, clothing, debt, and utilities are all essential. However, if there is anything you do not specifically need you should prioritize your spending to focus on other necessities. Do not cripple your financial progress by making purchases for the sake of making purchases. Every dollar that comes out of your wallet should be absolutely worth it. You will also be able to see a massive difference in how much more money you are taking home based on what expenses you eliminate.
The richest people in the world typically have multiple sources of income. While you may not become Bill Gates by simply finding another stream of income, it never hurts to keep in mind that your primary job is not the only place where you can build wealth. The most popular form of residual income comes in the form of investing.
The most common places that people tend to invest their money comes from the real estate market or the stock market. Investing comes with a high risk, depending on where you are making the investment. However, if you do your research and purchase stock in a business that is projected to do well, you could reap the benefits.
Essentially, you are the boss because you are giving businesses a loan in the form of your investment, and you are trusting that business to give you a return on your investment. Rather than being the borrower, you place yourself in the position of the lender and can collect interest instead of paying it.
Utilize Apps or Tools
A large part of managing finances requires a great deal of organization on your part. However, between all of the bills you have to pay and the stress that comes along with it, you may not have that kind of time. Therefore, you should consider taking advantage of technology and utilizing tools or apps that can make managing your finances easier.
Tools such as MoneyStrands or Quicken for Windows can help you to a great degree. Also, certain apps such as Digit automatically saves money for you as somewhat of a faux emergency fund. You most likely have a smartphone or a device with access to the Internet. There are plenty of tools that can help you there.
Sooner or later, you will not have adequate energy to continue in the workforce, which is why you should start saving for retirement as early as you can. It can seem like a lifetime away, but it will be here sooner than you know. Some experts believe that people will need as much as 80% of their current income by the time they decide to retire.
Not only does saving for retirement now help you get lower income taxes at that age, but it also allows for your savings to grow. This is especially the case if you utilize apps such as Acorns that enable you to save your money and allow it to increase in value gradually. Of course, you have to consider your current income and how much you can afford, but every little bit counts.
As you can see here, personal finance is an important concept to master. From managing debt reduction to saving, these are essential concepts to master. Follow these tips from Brice Capital, and you will put yourself in a great position financially going forward.