Once all of the monthly bills are paid, not to mention trying to save for retirement, there probably isn’t a whole lot leftover, so it’s important to make every last hard-earned dollar of yours count. It’s no wonder that most of us live paycheck to paycheck, but with some self-discipline and patience, you can finally get ahead and feel a little weight off of your shoulders. After all, handling the finances is a tough job as it is, so hopefully a little stress can be reduced as well.
Check Your Credit Report
While you may be wondering how your credit report will be saving you money, and that may be true in the short-term not feeling any positive effects, but over the long run, not only checking your credit report, but making sure you’re on top of on-time payments, keeping your credit utilization low, and keeping credit applications to a minimum, you can continue to see your credit score rise, and by doing so you can take advantage of the best interest rates on the market, which will save you money every month on your mortgage, loan, and credit card interest.
Build Up an Emergency Fund
If you were to have a large unexpected bill come in, such as a vet bill or appliance repair, how would you pay for it? Likely you would have to put on a credit card, adding another monthly payment into the mix until you’re able to pay it off fully, which could take months, even years. By saving up an emergency fund of a few months’ worth of expenses, you can give yourself a cushion if any unexpected charges come in that you can then have the available cash to payoff right away and avoid going into debt.
You may not think you’re going on a spending spree every month, but do you know what you’re currently spending on monthly bills? Food? Gas? Spending money? If you are not able to answer that, then maybe a budget is in order, but first thing is fist, which is tracking where your money is going. By looking at last month’s debit or credit card statement you can actually go line by line and see where every dollar went. From there you can see what you’re spending in each area, and then even take a step further and circle which charges were necessary and in a different color, circle those that were unnecessary and probably could have been avoided. Add up those unnecessary charges and see what you could have leftover in the bank. You might be shocked.
Don’t Miss Out on Free Money
Every little bit helps, especially if a little bit is free money. By making the purchases you were going to be making anyways with a debit, cash, or other credit card, by having a rewards credit card you can earn points or even cashback on your purchase, which depending on how much you spend, could add up to hundreds of dollars a year. Not bad for otherwise leaving on the table.