When it comes to finances, it’s easy to feel intimidated. The thought of paying down debt, deciphering the stock market, and purchasing a home can be daunting. Why not start small? The CGS Team is sharing 5 simple money habits that can lead to big returns! These baby steps can help you build some major money momentum to deal with big-time financial decisions.
Habit #1: Check Up On Your Money
Whether at the start or end of your day, take a few minutes to scan through your transactions. If you use debit and credit cards consistently, check all accounts. While looking at the transactions, ask yourself the following questions: Are you staying within your budget? Do you see any unknown fees or charges? Getting into the habit of checking in on your money will allow you to see where you stand with your spending, and take care of unknown charges right when they occur.
Habit #2: Know Your Credit Score
As scary as checking your credit report may seem, it’s a necessary habit. Don’t be afraid to check your credit report and score consistently (you may just be surprised)! Everyone is entitled to one free credit report pull each month through Annual Credit Report. Routinely checking in on your report and score does not affect your score.
Habit #3: Go Digital
In 2015, almost 80% of households received paper statements. We’re not going to get into the dangers of this, but if you want to know check out the Financial Security: Keeping Your Info Safe article. Besides the danger aspect of paper statements, it’s easy to let those unopened bills and statements pile up. When that happens, it’s easy for something to slip through the cracks. Set up a separate email account and have all of your bills and statements sent there.
Habit #4: Set Alerts and Follow Through
Stay on top of all of your financial responsibilities by scheduling automatic bill pay or setting up calendar alerts for your recurring expenses. Rent, phone, credit cards, student loans, and subscription-based services should all have reminders! Download a calendar app if you want to keep your social calendar separate. You can even get a cute magnetic calendar to make it fun!
Habit #5: Splurge in Moderation
The ladies of the CGS Team are firm believers in little indulgences. Life is too short to stiff yourself completely. If you buy nothing at all, you may become so tired of saving that you blow all of your savings at the mall. Note: This does not give you permission to go on a little indulgence spree! The key is moderation. Open an account just for fun! Have a small portion of your paycheck direct deposited to this account. Use it to splurge on yourself. Whether it’s a new lipstick, a nice dinner, or a barre class, this account is for you.
Positive money habits can be learned by anyone at any stage in their financial life. Get yourself on the right financial track by doing little things now that can have a huge impact on the future. What little money habits do you currently have in place? Leave a comment below to share your tips!