Many people have money issues. They struggle with it daily. Some folks don’t pay attention to their finances that often. They think that things will just get better by themselves. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it doesn’t. You have to work at it. Today, I’m going to share five smart money moves that you should do to help you get your finances in order. The smart money moves have to deal with debt and more.
Know Your Balances
For you to make any changes with your funds, you have to know your balances. You should be aware of how much money you have in your checking account. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of just swiping my card at times without knowing what my balance was. I ended up getting more than a few overdraft fees. Getting charged $25 – $35 each month wasn’t fun. I eventually got my act together and paid attention to my balance. Besides your checking and savings account, you should also track your credit cards and loans (student, mortgage, etc.) One tool that I use to help me keep track of everything is Personal Capital. With Personal Capital, I can see the balances of my checking, savings, credit card and loan accounts in one central location. You can also view different transactions that you have as well. Personal Capital also has tabs that allow you to see your portfolio information and advisor tools. Did I mention that Personal Capital was free? Sign up for it here.
Pay Off Debt
The next thing that you want to do is pay off your debt. Debt is one thing that holds too many people back. As of this writing, the United States in nearly $20 trillion in debt. That’s just ridiculous. I’m in the process of paying off a lot of debt. I’ve been serious about eliminating it since 2015. I currently only have student loan debt left. It’s a lot, but I know that I will make it happen. There are a lot of good people in the same situation. The sooner that you pay off your debt, the sooner that you will be able to do other things with your money.
Getting a side hustle will help you pay off your debt quickly. There are hundreds of things that you can do to make extra money. If you are stumped, check out this list of 99 side hustle ideas from Nick Loper. I’m sure that you will be able to find something that you can do. When you start making money from your side hustle, make sure that you use the money specifically to pay down your debt. If you do that, your future self will thank you.
Balance Transfer Card
Getting a balance transfer card will help you pay your credit card quicker. In January of 2016, I was making a payment on my Bank of America credit card when I realized that the interest was over $60. That’s too much to be paying. I started doing my research and heard a great Periscope broadcast from Sandy who owns Yes I am Cheap. She discussed balance transfer credit cards in detail. After hearing that broadcast, I applied for one immediately. I was approved for a Chase Slate card. The balance transfer had a zero percent APR for fifteen months. I transferred $1960 of the $2900 that I had left to pay on my Bank of America card to the new Chase card. Doing that allowed me to pay off both credit cards by March 2017. It’s a wonderful feeling not to have any credit card debt anymore.
Many student loans have high interest rates. It could be variable making your payment fluctuate every year. If that’s the case, you should consider looking at a company that will allow you to refinance the loans. There are a lot of businesses out there that provides this service. One company that I would recommend to you is SoFi. They are a lender that provides refinancing for different types of loans. SoFi has helped people save over $1.45 billion since they’ve been in business. SoFi has great rates that will save you money on mortgages, student loans, and personal loans. They also give you access to financial advisors and exclusive community events. If you’re interested in saving money with SoFi, check out the links below.
I believe the five smart money moves that I discussed above can be done by anyone. If you are serious about getting your funds in order, you have to make some changes. Once you do that you will see your finances change for the better.