Consumer Credit Counseling Service News Articles
A new year, a new you. We’ve all heard that, right? But what if you like the old you and maybe just need a little boost? Make 2021 your saving-savvy, year of positive growth.
Start with one or two tips below. But START!
BE SCARED OF CONSUMER DEBT…
But not necessarily of credit cards. Keep reading.
There are HUGE benefits to using credit cards RESPONSIBLY. You need to build a credit history. You need to build a clean, excellent credit history.
Start with a secured card. This is where you put down a deposit which becomes your credit line. You treat the account like a regular account and make payments ON TIME. Use the card responsibly here and there. Pay off the entire balance immediately when you do use it. In no time at all, you will have built a credit history and did so in a safe way!
START SAVING NOW (at least a bit) FOR RETIREMENT
I know it seems early or that it is your least concern right now when it comes to your money. But KNOW this: you need to start saving NOW. As early as possible. So that you take full advantage of COMPOUND INTEREST. Your money will make money for you. Read that again.
And if you have an employer that will match your contribution to your retirement fund, you are literally receiving FREE MONEY!! A great goal is to have a year’s income saved by the time you are 30. If not, it’s never too late to start. But start NOW. Even a little.
YOUR CAR IS NOT AN INVESTMENT. PAY CASH. OR…
At the very leas,t use “light financing”.
There is RARELY a time when you can purchase a car and then sell it for more than you bought it. Cars lose value the second you drive off the lot. Truth. Don’t buy more car than you can afford. Pay cash. If you must finance, only do so “lightly” meaning put money down, get the best (or zero!) interest rate you can, and make sure the term is short enough that you can pay the vehicle off while it is still worth owning. Understand your credit score and what it means regarding qualifying for interest rates. Get financing quotes from other places than the dealer, like a credit union..
CONSIDER THIS WHEN PAYING YOUR SCHOOL LOANS…
Invest that “extra” payment amount on your school loan instead of focusing only on paying off your loan as quickly as possible.
OF COURSE you need to be paying your regular monthly payments to your school loans. BUT consider this: if you are able to add money to pay off those student loans faster, then consider splitting some of that “extra” money between paying additionally on your loans AND investing the other part.
ADULTING IS HARD…
Make your life easier in the long run (financially speaking).
- Pay yourself first…work towards your emergency fund. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Live within your means…simply put: don’t spend more then your earn. Period.
- Plan for the future…by building. continuing, or improving your credit now so you can use it to buy a car or home in the future.
- Set money goals…start saving now for what you need (or want)later. A budget is a great place to start! Try a budgeting app like everydollar or Mint or PocketSmith.
- BE PATIENT…Saving money takes time. You may not see the effects right away.
REMEMBER: Making money, saving money, and just learning how money works takes TIME. Be patient with yourself and know that it is okay to have questions! We’re here for you!
Holli Lewandowski, Certified Credit Counselor, Educator, and Advocate
Excerpted from Christopher Murray