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In our world, financial wellness is the core of safety and security. You may have read up on this in my post How to Punch Every Day in the Face #Adultinglikeaboss. Instead of survival of the fittest, we have now evolved to survival of the smartest. Money is our system and we must handle it with care. Survival of the smartest means navigating this economy to set ourselves up for success. It also means finding the method suitable for your unique circumstances to achieve that financial balance.
Before making any decisions or changes regarding your finances, please consult a professional as I am not a financial professional. What you will find here is only based on my personal experience and you may not have the same experience or outcome. Do the appropriate research for your own unique circumstances.
Here are some ways to secure financial and personal information in today’s world:
-Be careful of how personal information is displayed and stored.
-Ensure any of online activity and/or purchases are done securely.
-Do not save any personal information, credit card information, or account information through websites.
-Keep physical information such as social security cards, birth certificates, checks, contracts, business documents etc. in a locked safe with the key or code tucked away safely.
-Consider installing a home security system.
-Enroll in identity theft protection.
-Sign up for email notifications to monitor your credit report.
-Enroll in online banking and check accounts daily. Keep paper statements on in the case you need proof of something fishy going on with your accounts.
-Shred any personal information before recycling or throwing away.
-Use strong passwords and two factor authentication.
-There is no guarantee that public wifi networks are secure, so be cautious.
It’s never easy, but managing your money is so worth it. (No pun intended.) In order for you to be financially well, you have to look at money just as you would look at a relationship. You have to care for it and not throw it away. You have to show up for your money and it will show up for you. That means working for your dreams.
Ways to feel more at ease with finances:
-Make a budget and stick to it.
-Have a rainy day fund that is only for emergencies.
–Monitor your credit to ensure there is no fraudulent activity.
-Build your credit by making payments on time.
-Work on your resume to see where you can go from here.
Taking a little time every now and then to plan for your future can go a long way. Financial security is a big deal. It can feel tedious at first, but the more you refine your goals the better you can see your future.
-Know exactly what you have to pay for basic needs, utilities, groceries, and essentials.
-Start budgeting before the new month begins.
-Vote with your dollar. Choose products, services, and companies that are quality focused.
-Know your needs vs. your wants.
-Have a small dollar amount, say twenty dollars per month that you can spend however you please. Hopefully this will limit too many splurges.
-Gradually reduce each area of your budget, try five dollars each month, then the next month reduce it by ten dollars.
-Got debt? Some creditors offer balance transfers at lower interest rates (sometimes even 0%) and small transfer fees.
-Remember that all good things take time. You are doing a great job! Be confident. It takes practice to manage money.
There is more to life than having a good credit score, but having a great credit score will bring more to your life. Be the warrior that walks into the car dealership and says “What are you going to do for me?”
–Regularly check your credit score and identify what you want to improve.
-Be sure to first resolve any late payments or bills in collections.
-The older the account is, the better it helps your score.
-Be mindful of opening too many accounts.
-30% of your score is based on timely payments.
-Also be aware of hard inquiries vs. soft inquiries which may lower your score.
-Pay attention to your debt to credit ratio. It is recommended to stay under 20% credit usage.
Keeping a savings account is hard. I have found the best way to manage a savings account is to simply deposit the same amount each paycheck. Immediately put that money aside and pretend like it isn’t even there. If you have an emergency that requires you to withdraw funds, put double your usual amount in for the next few paychecks to make up the difference.
There you have it! This is what I have learned over my years as an adult and if it wasn’t for the more experienced adults in my life, this millennial wouldn’t be where she is today. Remember to do your own research and consult a professional before making any financial or lifestyle decisions. You may not have the same experience that I did.