January is just around the corner. It’s the time of year when we start to think about fresh starts, new beginnings, and goals we want to achieve. Most of us focus on health and fitness goals, relationship goals, and even travel goals, but now is the time to start looking at our finances.
We’re in that time of the year that exposes all of our financial shortcomings. The holidays have a funny way of reminding us that we need to pay closer attention to how we earn, save and manage our money. While the world is focused on purchasing Christmas gifts and holiday parties, you may be trying to figure out how to make everything work and not go broke before January 1.
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!
We have just hit that time of the year where we are in full transition. Happy June. Not only is this the month of reflection – mainly because we are passing from the 1st half of the year into the remaining 6 months – but it’s also the month of the reboot; and yes, that includes your finances. We’re a few months past spring cleaning but it’s now time for a midyear financial checkup.
Money is one of those topics that does not improve (or go away) if ignored. Before any more time gets away from you, let’s evaluate those annual goals and see if you’re exceeding expectations, right on track, or in need of a little help to get back on the road to financial security. Don’t worry, if you’re not sure where to start, I’ve made it easy for you. Keep reading for my top tips to a painless mid-year financial checkup!
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.