Managing Your Money

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When money gets on top of you, life can get very stressful very fast. Don’t let bad credit and poor financial habits trap you under a mountain of debt before you hit 30. Follow a few easy tips, and you can develop better ways of managing your money without resorting to loans and quick fixes.

 

Minimize student loans

If there’s still time, it’s definitely worth looking at ways that you can reduce the debt you leave college with. Although it’s easy to see student loans as an investment that’ll easily be paid off with the great job you’ll get post-graduation, things don’t always work out so smoothly. Keep the debt low from the very start by looking at state colleges over private, or splitting your degree between a community college and regular university. Anything you can do to come out of your education with a low amount of debt will be well worth it in the long term.

 

Stay away from store cards

Store cards can look seriously tempting, especially if you’re a frequent shopper, but they often come with crazy high interest rates and big late fees, meaning you’re very likely to rack up expenses rather than making significant savings. Avoid these and stick to budgeting your shopping with the money you already have.

 

Manage credit cards wisely

If you do decide to get a credit card, stay on top of payments and work on improving your credit rating. Consider setting up automatic payments from your bank account to keep on top of bills, and make sure they’re always in on time, as late payments add up to bad credit.

 

Don’t throw away old cards

If you have old credit cards that you don’t use, consider using it wisely instead of cancelling it. Cancelling a card can lower your credit score, while having a long, strong credit history can improve your score overall. Just be sure to stay organized and well under your maximum limits, and you’ll be set up for a lifetime of financial comfort, panic-free.

Sarah Pinkerton

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