It’s not always easy to make your own way in the world as a woman. This is particularly true when you first leave home and try to establish your independence. Men are often encouraged to leave home as early as possible and begin making their own way in the world. However, for women, there can be a little more flexibility when it comes to staying at home for longer or remaining dependent on your family.
The essential component to most financial goals – unless, of course, you’re a trust fund baby – which I am not. And if you’re like me, then you need this simple guide to understanding your credit.
Whether you’re preparing to buy your first home, self-fund a business idea, or need to upgrade your ride, your credit will likely be front and center for the process.
Your credit score is the key indicator that lenders use to predict creditworthiness. If you have a history of paying your debts in a timely manner each month, creditors see that as the model for how you will handle future credit obligations – and they will see you as less of a risk for extending additional credit.
I’ve compiled a short list of the top tips to help you better understand how your credit score works and how you can improve it!
How many times have you decided that you were going to get your money right? We generally think about how we handle money when we go through a financial setback or are about to make a major purchase. What if you changed the way you interacted with money, not out of desperation but because it was a priority for you?
Waiting until you have a need for a good credit score or substantial savings is like working backward. The goal is to prepare yourself so that unexpected expenses or opportunities, don’t turn into financial emergencies. We generally think about improving how we interact with money in 3 steps: saving, budgeting and paying down debt. While the first two mean a change in behavior and creating new habits, with consistency they can be mastered. Getting out of debt, or developing a debt-free lifestyle can take a bit more effort.
Because debt for most is a safety net of sorts. When you can’t make ends meet or have a financial crisis, it’s the go-to solution. Once it spirals out of control, it becomes a pay-the-minimum and deal with it later situation. The problem with this thinking is that until you develop a plan to eliminate debt, it doesn’t go away.
There is often a negative opinion of both money and relationships. This is probably due to the countless reports of money being a leading cause of divorce. But there’s a flip side. If you’re willing to have an open line of communication and are able to make financial decisions together, then money doesn’t have to be a negative topic of discussion. In fact, it could actually bring you and your significant other closer together.
If you’re new to your relationship or you’ve had a bad experience, with discussing money issues, in the past, you may be wondering when is the right time to have the dreaded money talk. Don’t stress about this and don’t rush it! Every relationship is different and there is no right or wrong time. Just be sure that you are in a serious committed relationship, where sharing finances and resources, is something that you’re starting to engage in – there’s no need to expose your most personal information, if it’s not warranted.
No couple moves at the same pace as another. But when the time is right for you, it is important that you are able to have an honest and respectful dialogue. Keep reading, for my top tips on how to have a great conversation on money; one that brings you closer together.
Creating a budget may seem like a simple thing to do. But the truth is that most of us have no idea where to start or we can’t seem to successfully follow the money plans that we put in place. Going through the motions of setting up a budget is not enough, to experience the benefits that come with budgeting, we have to actually adhere to it.
Financial planning is essential to learning how to live within your means and is a key factor in helping you achieve financial success. I often tell my children that learning how to master your money is the most empowering education you will ever have.
In my early 20’s I thought that I was drowning in debt. Credit saved me several times from financial emergencies, but figuring out how to make the monthly payments became an ongoing challenge. I remember keeping a notebook and a calendar. In my notebook, I had a debt repayment log. I kept up with bill due dates, interest rates, minimum due, amount paid and the remaining balance. The calendar was filled in with bill due dates and the amount that I was planning to pay. I was so excited each month and I was able to reduce the amount I owed or cross another paid account off my list. I kept up with everything, until all of my debt was completely paid off.
Looking back, the amount of debt that I had back then is laughable (now), but at the time I was completely overwhelmed with the looming reality that I owed money and had to pay towards it every month. My anxiety was likely caused by the fact that there was no extra to spare. I was barely making ends meet and I remember trying to stretch my remaining $20 – after all bills were paid – until my next payday. But I learned a lot about the rewards of discipline and the mindset shift that needs to take place to overcome debt and change your financial situation.