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Going out into the world on your own for the first time is pretty exciting. It’s a time in life that’s full of possibilities. You can do anything: move in with a bunch of cool roommates; have amazing adventures all around the world; trash your credit score. Okay, maybe that last one’s not so exciting, but it’s definitely a possibility. If you don’t take control of your finances early, they can quickly get away from you.
Here are a few things you can do when striking out on your own that will protect your credit score, your wallet, and your financial future.
How Can I Cut Costs To Help Get My Finances In Order
Once you have your own money, it’s easy to find ways to spend it. However, finding ways to cut costs is a wiser call. Take, for example, monthly bills. They can feel like necessities, but some of them aren’t. Cable is one regular bill you can easily cut to reduce spending.
Instead of paying for every single channel out there, you could get a streaming device and pay only for the channels you actually use. Just think about which features you want so you can find the right model that gives the best bang for your buck
Lifehack explains there are plenty of other ways to limit spending while maintaining your lifestyle. If you have a busy social schedule, try to go out once per weekend instead of each night – trade hosting nights in with your friends on the other. Spend a ton on books?
Shop around for better prices online, or connect with your library. Instead of grabbing a to-go cup of fancy coffee, invest in a great travel mug, look up some copycat recipes, and brew your own. There’s almost always room to cut back.
Managing Your Debt Leads To Better Finances
If there’s one bright side to student debt, it’s this – if you stay on top of it and pay it down each month, it will give you an excellent credit score. This is because student debt is kind of a credit score hack if you manage it properly.
Credit scores are calculated by looking at your total debt, the age, and diversity of that debt, and your payment history. For many young people, student loans are the oldest debt they have. If you stay on top of payments, that makes for older debt with a strong history — two credit-score boosting qualities that put you ahead of the curve.
How Can Using A Credit Card – Wisely Help Your Finances
You may have been discouraged from getting a credit card at all, due to how easy it is to overspend with one. This isn’t entirely off base. The Balance explains credit card companies often target college students because it’s easy for first-time credit card users to get themselves in a bad spot and wind up stuck with massive debt.
The best advice is to get a credit card, but adjust your attitude about what it’s for. Don’t think of a credit card as a loan you’ll pay eventually – think of it as a bill, and one you pay in full every month. If you never spend more than you can pay off, a credit card can do wonders for your credit score.
If You Start Saving Now It Will Help You Get Your Finances Together
There’s no better time than right now to start saving up for future expenses. From road trips to retirement, there are plenty of things you should consider saving for. Sooner is always better than later when it comes to savings.
The reason for this is simple: the more time you have to save up, the easier it will be to reach your goals. Not only will you have put more money aside over time, but you’ll also accrue interest over that period as well. As a result, you’ll have more savings, make more from your savings, and setting aside funds will make a less noticeable impact on your monthly budget.
Remember, although it might be hard to get started with managing finances, it’s harder to pick up the pieces after it’s gone wrong. Getting your money under control earlier in life saves you from making big, hard-to-correct financial mistakes down the line. Give yourself the best possible start.