Spend on Experiences, Not Things Putting your money toward purchases like a concert or a picnic in the park—instead of spending it on pricey material objects—gives you more happiness for your buck. The research says so.
Evaluate Purchases by Cost Per Use It may seem more financially responsible to buy a trendy $5 shirt than a basic $30 shirt—but only if you ignore the quality factor! When deciding if the latest tech toy, kitchen gadget, or apparel item is worth it, factor in how many times you’ll use it or wear […]
Opt for Mortgage Payments Below 28% of Your Monthly Income That’s a general rule of thumb when you’re trying to figure out how much house you can afford. Learn more about this number here. And then indulge in some voyeurism and see what couples can afford.
If You’re Struggling With Federal Student Loan Payments, Investigate Repayment Options Just call up your lender and ask whether they offer graduated, extended, or income-based plans. Read more about these options there options here.
Always Choose Federal Student Loans Over Private Loans Federal loans have flexible terms of payment if your employment dreams don’t exactly go according to plan after college. Plus, federal loans typically have better interest rates. So be smart about the loans you take out —and try to avoid these other big student loan mistakes.
Every Student Should Fill Out the FAFSA Even if you don’t think that you’ll get aid, it doesn’t hurt to fill out the form. That’s because 1.3 million students last year missed out on a Pell Grant—which doesn’t need to be paid back!—because they didn’t fill out the form.
Don’t Ever Cosign a Loan If the borrower—your friend, family member, significant other, whoever—misses payments, your credit score will take a plunge, the lender can come after you for the money, and it will likely destroy your relationship. Plus, if the bank is requiring a cosigner, the bank doesn’t trust the person to make the […]
Start With Small Debts to Help You Conquer the Big Ones If you have a mountain of debt, studies show paying off the little debts can give you the confidence to tackle the larger ones. You know, like paying off a modest balance on a department store card before getting to the card with the […]
Make Salary Discussions at Your Current Job About Your Company’s Needs Your employer doesn’t care whether you want more money for a bigger house—it cares about keeping a good employee. So when negotiating pay or asking for a raise, emphasize the incredible value you bring to the company.
Don’t Assume You Don’t Qualify for Unemployment At the height of the recent recession, only half of people eligible for unemployment applied for it. Learn the rules of unemployment..
You Can Negotiate More Than Just Your Salary Your work hours, official title, maternity and paternity leave, vacation time, and which projects you’ll work on could all be things that a future employer may be willing to negotiate.
When Negotiating a Salary, Get the Company to Name Figures First If you give away your current pay from the get-go, you have no way to know if you’re lowballing or highballing. Getting a potential employer to name the figure first means you can then push them higher.
Get a Money Buddy According to one study, friends with similar traits can pick up good habits from each other—and it applies to your money too! So try gathering several friends for regular money lunches, like this woman did, paying off 35000 of debt in the process.
Learn How to Savor Savoring means appreciating what you have now, instead of trying to get happy by acquiring more things.
Get Your Finances–and Body—in Shape One study showed that more exercise leads to higher pay because you tend to be more productive after you’ve worked up a sweat. So taking up running may help amp up your financial game. Plus, all the habits and discipline associated with, say, running marathons are also associated with managing […]
Banish Toxic Money Thoughts Hello, self-fulfilling prophecy! If you psych yourself out before you even get started (“I’ll never pay off debt!”), then you’re setting yourself up to fail. So don’t be a fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.
Make Bite-Size Money Goals One study showed that the farther away a goal seems, and the less sure we are about when it will happen, the more likely we are to give up. So in addition to focusing on big goals (say, buying a home), aim to also set smaller, short-term goals along the way […]
Love Yourself Sure, it may sound corny, but it works. Just ask this author, who paid off $20,000 of debt after realizing that taking control of her finances was a way to value herself.
Adopt a Spending Mantra Pick out a positive phrase that acts like a mini rule of thumb for how you spend. For example, ask yourself, “Is this [fill in purchase here] better than Bali next year?” or “I only charge items that are $30 or more.”
Draft a Financial Vision Board You need motivation to start adopting better money habits, and if you craft a vision board, it can help remind you to stay on track with your financial goals.