The following five money principles are the basics to everyday finances. Keep them in mind as you create short, medium and long term goals and objectives. Everyday money management decisions are simplified with a concrete money plan in place.
Income - Understand your pay. What do you make, how much goes to taxes and what are you bringing home to the bank each month. Make sure your W-4 is filled out to correlate with your tax withholding needs. Take advantage of any credits and deductions which can be set in place before taxes come out.
Save and Invest - It’s never too early to start saving even if it is a small amount each month. Don't’ put so much away that you strap yourself in the end. It is important to enjoy some of your money so don’t forget to pay yourself first. Going without will only make sticking to your plan that much more difficult. Monitor both long and short-term savings plans. If you are going to invest, a qualified professional would help you define key financial goals.
Protect your finances - It is important to take precautions in order to protect your monthly budget as well as future money needs. Build your own emergency account so you won’t have to rely on creditors or lenders to help solve money troubles. Keep all your financial records organized and watch for potential scams or fraudulent activity. Check your credit report every year to make sure your history reflects accurate information. Shop for the best and most affordable insurances to protect both your assets and health.
Spend wisely - Search for the best value. Shop around and compare prices especially with big ticket items. Track your spending habits and create a spending plan that fits into your budget. It is important to live within your means. Set spending limits and stick to them.
Borrow even wiser - Interest is the price you pay for borrowing money. It is important to shop around for the best lender. Whether you are going to a bank, applying for a new credit card or using an alternative money option like an online payday loan or car title loan, shopping for the best interest rate will save money in the end. Make on-time payments each month and pay more than the minimum amount due in order to decrease the interest charges each month.
Manage your debt efficiently in order to build your credit score. A credit score in the above prime rate will guarantee you lower interest rates for future funding needs and decrease your need for alternative money solutions. Reevaluate goals in order to maintain progress and adjust the plan as needed. Everyday finances matter in the long-term, so make your money count each day.