There are a lot of things we women do all year long to sabotage our own financial well-being. Well, it’s the start of a brand-new year, so let’s be super-savvy super-savers and make some resolutions for a wealthier 2019…
1. Know Your Score
A less-than-perfect credit score can mean you’ll pay higher interest rates, if you can get a loan at all. That’s why it’s so important to know your credit score with the three different credit agencies. Each year, they’re required to give you a copy for free. If you see an error, fix it right away! It will take time and persistence, but a better credit rating will mean big savings.
2. File the FAFSA
Did you know there are hundreds of thousands of Americans that qualify for financial aid for college every year, but don’t ever use that money? Why pay for tuition and books if you don’t have to! Right after you file your tax return each year, file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s easy. It could also save you thousands of dollars each semester in tuition!
3. Save, save, save
Even if you’re only socking away $20 a week in a low-interest account, it’s important to make a resolution to save this year. That $20 may have bought two tall double-whip lattes, or a new scarf, but having a little nest-egg for emergencies, rather than relying on credit cards, is much more important.
4. Pay down Credit Cards
It’s simple: credit card companies do not want you to pay off your balances. That’s because they make billions of dollars a year on interest charges. So buck the trend, be money-wise, and pay down your credit card debt as soon as possible. Concentrate on the ones with the highest interest rates first, and try your best NOT to use credit cards at all!
5. Try a Credit Union
Most credit unions offer their customers better rates for loans and special perks, like fee-free accounts. They’re also a lot nicer to deal with than big, impersonal banks, and most credit unions will also offer you a personal banker, someone who really has your own best financial interests at heart. Also, they don’t tend to charge fees for using ATMs, which can really add up: each transaction usually costs $3!
6. Learn when to Say No
Do you really need another handbag, or pair of boots? Do you really need to eat out for lunch and dinner every day? Probably not. Save that money instead. And treat yourself once in a while.
7. Consult a Pro
If you have more detailed questions about money, investments, accounts, college savings, and more, consult a professional, either at your bank or somewhere else. It may cost a little money, but if you’re serious about your financial well-being, it’s worth every penny.
Follow these few tips and you’ll have a much more financially secure 2019… you’ll be wealthier and wise! Which of these financial resolutions will you make this year? Which ones do you think will be the hardest to keep?