While sure it’s important to figure out is lyft or uber cheaper when it comes to getting a ride to and from the bar, but the bigger picture needs to be evaluated when it comes to your own finances, reducing expenses where you can, in order to free up extra money and put your hard-earned money to good use. Taking a look at monthly spending is a good way to figure out a budget going forward. In order to get ahead in your finances, a few smart money moves should be made, sooner than later.
Check Your Credit Report
The other day my card information was taken again somehow, who knows if it was at the gas pump or maybe someone caught a glimpse while I was paying a tab, but either way, you can never know who has your info these days so it’s a good idea to check your credit report to ensure everything is up to date an accurate, otherwise it can cost you money in higher interest rates, or even a declination of a loan or mortgage. The major credit bureaus offer a free copy of the credit report once a year, and the score you can get on your monthly credit card statements each month.
Build an Emergency Fund
You never know what life may throw at you, so it’s a good idea to give yourself a little cushion in case of any unexpected charges that may come up, such as vet bills, auto repair, or even a few months’ worth of expenses to cover in case of a job-loss. You just may not want to have more than that in there, as the money would just be sitting in a savings account not growing at all, compared to what it could in a retirement or brokerage account.
Increase Retirement Contributions
Speaking of retirement, although it could still be decades away, that doesn’t mean that you should put off saving for it until later. The longer you wait, the less your funds will grow over time, so the earlier you can start saving, the better. Keep an eye out for any company-matching contributions as well that your work may offer, otherwise not taking advantage of the full company match can be essentially leaving free money on the table, especially if you think how much it could be growing over time as well, could be missing out on a hundred thousand dollars!
Use a Rewards Credit Card
While sure, it can be tough to keep credit card spending under control for some, but if you can use responsibly, it can actually make good financial sense to use, especially when it comes to the rewards. By making the purchases you would normally make anyways, you can earn points or dollars back, free money, that you could potentially be leaving on the table as well if not taking advantage of. You just have to be careful not to charge up too much just for the rewards because if you can’t pay the balance and start getting charged interest it would defeat the purpose.