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How financially literate are you? 3 things you should know about your money

Know Your Scores

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.

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How financially literate are you? 3 things you should know about your money

How financially literate are you? 3 things you should know about your money

https://ideas.ted.com/how-financially-literate-are-you-3-things-you-should-know-about-your-money/

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Key Ideas

Financial Literacy

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.

In And Out

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.

Review And Analyse

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.

Know Your Scores

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.

Credit Card Debt

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Golden Rules of Personal Finance
  • Spend less money than you earn
  • Always plan for the future: you should always look forward beyond the current month
  • Make your mon...
3 Financial Basics
  1. Create a Financial Calendar: prevent yourself from forgetting quarterly tax payments and to get credit reports.
  2. Check Your Interest Rate: Pay off loans, open saving accou...
Budgeting Like a Pro
  • Consider an All-Cash Diet, as limiting yourself to physical currency combats overspending.
  • Set aside 1 minute a day to check on your financial transactions, to identify problems, track goal progress and set your spending tone.
  • Allocate at least 20% of your income to financial priorities like emergency funds, debts and retirement fund.
  • Budget about 30% of your income for nonbasic spendings, like entertainment. Abiding by the 30% rule, you can save and splurge at the same time.
How to Get Money Motivated
  • Draft a Financial Vision Board, it motivates and helps you to stay on track with your financial goals.
  • Set specific financial goals stating the reason, the way, numbers and dates.
  • Adopt a spending mantra, a phrase that serves as a rule of thumb for how you spend.
  • Love yourself. Taking control of your finances is part of that.
  • Make bite-size money goals. Make the bigger ones but also small step goals to get there.
  • Don’t be a financial fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.
  • Get your finances and body in shape. The discipline associated with regular exercising translates to managing your money well.
  • Appreciate what you have now, instead of being a consumerist.
  • Get a Money Buddy. Studies indicate people pick up good habits from friends with similar traits.

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How much you should save every month
How much you should save every month

The popular 50/30/20 rule states that you should reserve 50 percent of your budget for essentials like rent and food, 30 percent for discretionary spending, and 20 percent for savings.

But ...

Why 20 percent is recommended

Assuming you're in your 20s or 30s and can earn an average investment return of five percent a year, you'll need to save about 20 percent of your income so you can reach financial independence when you're older.

Financial independence means that you can maintain your chosen lifestyle entirely from the interest of your investments and dividends.

The four percent rule

The four percent rule states that you could withdraw four percent of your principal balance every year and live on this indefinitely. That means you need to save 25 times your annual expenses to become financially independent.

The four percent rule is not perfect. There is no risk-free investment that yields that much today. Sudden inflation could also cause a problem.

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Regular monthly bills
Regular monthly bills

The bulk of your budget is made up of necessities like rent, phone and internet bills, insurance, etc. If you can lower your monthly expenses, you can save a lot for unplanned events.

Debt when you're on a tight budget

There are a couple of paths you can take to pay off your high-interest debt when you're on a tight budget.

  • The snowball method. For those who need to see progress, pay off the lowest balance first. You'll feel inspired to keep going.
  • The avalanche method. Choose the debt with the highest interest rate to pay off first. This may require larger monthly payments and will take longer to see progress, but you will save the most money in the long run.
  • If you need to prioritize your credit score, focus on paying down your credit cards first. Paying the ones you are near to maxing out will improve your score quickly by a few points.
  • Set up payment plans, even if you can only afford a few dollars at a time. That way, your lenders can see you're paying something.
Incorporate unplanned entertainment in your budget

Financial professionals will advise you to cut out expensive nights out. In truth, you will have night's out, even when you're dirt poor.

To incorporate unplanned entertainment, set aside an amount each month. Be realistic. You can open another savings account for fun spending or you can use cash only.

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A Monthly Budget For Your Money

No matter how little or how much money you earn, creating a monthly budget is one of the most important aspects of managing your finances. What gets measured gets managed.

...

The Envelope System

The Envelope system is a way to track your variable expenses like food, entertainment, and drinks.

This method, preferably used weekly, allocates a certain amount in each category in labeled envelopes (food, drinks, movies, etc.). Once the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category.

How to Create a Good Budget

The principles that make a good budget, something you can stick to:

  • Being Realistic: Being too strict is a recipe for failure.
  • Making Adjustments: A budget is not set in stone, but a fluid thing.
  • A Team Sport: If you live with a partner or spouse, you have to agree mutually on how to budget the financials.
  • Expect the Unexpected: Keep an emergency fund, ideally 3-6 months of necessary expenses.
  • Budgeting the Expected: Certain upcoming expenses need to be budgeted in advance, like property tax, holiday shopping, etc.

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Save On Transport Without a Car
Save On Transport Without a Car

You’ll save far more if you don’t buy a car or sell it if you already own one but can go without it.

If you can use public transportation, you can save quite a bit of money on ...

Save On Transport While Keeping a Car

Carpool to work if you can to significantly reduce wear and tear on your car, save on gas, and take advantage of carpool lanes that might make it easier to get to work.

Check at least once a month to keep the tires on your vehicle properly inflated. Doing so can improve your gas mileage.

Save On Debts

Refinance your home or automobile at a lower rate to save money over the life of the loan and lower your monthly payment.

If your student loans are locked in at a high-interest rate, figure out whether it makes sense to consolidate all or some of them.

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Being Frugal Is Not Cheap

Frugal people do spend money, but want the maximum bang for the buck, without stressing themselves.

Frugality does not mean compromising quality, neglecting your social life, or being a...

Be A Smart Spender
  • Use tools like financial books, podcasts, and online savings groups.
  • Avoid indulging in unnecessary expenses daily, reducing them or finding healthier and more affordable alternatives.
  • Cultivate a healthier attitude and the right mindset towards your finances.
  • Know that small, practical, money-saving actions can compound into better living for you in the long run.
Use Smart Hacks

There are plenty of financial and budgeting tools and apps that can help us manage our funds, keep track of our expenses, and trigger us when we are off-track.

Simple hacks like carrying a debit card or cash instead of a credit card, or deleting our card details from shopping sites can help us avoid spending impulsively.

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2 Basic Rules Of Financial Decisions
  1. Carefully evaluate any financial decisions you plan to make.
  2. Ask for advice before finalizing your choices. Seek out people and sources you trust to help you.
5 personal-finance tips for young people
  1. Start saving early to have a good start on building retirement savings before beginning a family and career.
  2. Understand that credit cards are not a safe net, using it may lead to debt.
  3. Buying life insurance when you’re young ensures you’ll get lower premiums and potentially avoid costs if it has a grandfathering clause.
  4. The cost of buying a car might mean you’ll have to delay buying a house.  Look at your budget carefully and test drive additional payments for 6 months if you think you can do both.
  5. Plan how to avoid impulse spending to avoid debt and distress. Set a waiting period proportional to the price of what you want to buy. Anything worth having is worth waiting for.
Financial planning

 ...is the process which provides you a framework for achieving your life goals in a systematic and planned way by avoiding shocks and surprises.

Try making a budget
  • Create a full inventory of expenses in front of you: Categorize them into fixed and variable; urgent and non-urgent; necessities and luxury; avoidable and unavoidable.
  • You can create a hierarchy of needs and decide which one’s to address first. It’s all about prioritizing. 
  • Accept that you have limited resources and unlimited wants. But you have to manage your resources. The sooner you accept this fact, the better you can control your impulses towards avoidable expenditures.
Maintain a personal balance sheet

It’s a statement wherein you can jot down your assets and liabilities.

  • Pull together your bank statements and other proofs of the liabilities
  • List down your assets like the bank balance, all investments, home value, and value of other assets.
  • Take a sum of all the assets to arrive at the total value of your assets.
  • List down your liabilities the (car loan, home loan, credit card balances etc.)
  • The sum of all the liabilities will show the value of the money you owe.
  • When you subtract the value of liabilities from assets, you get your Net Worth.

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