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While kids and teens get to learn about a lot of stuff, most families and schools do not teach them how to manage their money. In some families, it is considered a taboo subject and many friends are too busy showing off to help others manage their finances.
Even the basics of financial literacy are not taught at an early age, resulting in many of us falling into the trap of consumerism and debt.
Most of us know how much we make, but we need to pay close attention to how much money is actually coming in post-tax, and how much is going out.
You can start by writing down your Starbucks, Uber, Amazon, and take-out expenses, along with your car insurance, utility bills, subscriptions and memberships. Slowly we can realize that many of these small expenses add up to huge figures.
By noting down all your expenses on pen and paper, or on the PC excel sheet, you can start to review and analyse your spendings on a weekly or monthly basis. This will make you find innovative ways to save money, catching hold of ‘runaway spending’ that went unnoticed before.
Example: You could find that the $5 Smoothie that you had every day, could cost much less if you made it at home.
Knowing your credit scores and the details of the mortgage, loans and credit card activities that impact it, can help you manage your financial credit. You can find ways to improve your credit score once you check it for free using a variety of apps and websites available.
Before you take a big loan, it is advisable to check your credit score in all the available agencies in your country.
The trickiest form of debt, which is literally bleeding our finances, is the credit card debt. Make sure you know what the interest rate being charged is. Know that a 2% interest rate per month is actually 24% per annum.
If you stay out of debt by paying the total due on time, and not compound the interest, having a credit card with a good score can affect your credit score in a good way.
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Coupons are sold in lots to allow couponers to stock up on the best deals.
While coupons are great to save money, it does not make sense to spend on coupons in order to save. Coupons vary greatly by geographic location and store, and may not apply to your geographic area. Instead of buying coupons, get the Sunday paper for better ads, download an app or keep a coupon binder to stash extras.
It makes sense to stock up on non-perishable items such as soap and canned goods.
However, buying wholesale perishable items like fruit and milk might mean it goes to waste if you can't consume it before the expiration date.