Here are 6 smart money moves in your 20s that will ignite your financial future, once and for all. They all work in tandem, so incorporate them all into your action plan for this year.
Whatever steps you take now will help you smooth sail your way into your 30’s. Keep these up year after year and you will be miles ahead of your friends that don’t think that managing their money is “important” to their future.
Let’s get to the list…
It’s a new year and now is the time to get your free annual credit report. Although you might not have a lot of debt, it’s important to check your credit annually and get in the habit of doing so. Not only will you be checking this one-off your list, but you will also learn first hand how your credit is reported, and get cozy with that all important three-digit number known as your credit score. This is one three-digit combination where the higher number wins.
You should always be getting something for the money you are spending. Points, cash back or discounts are the common form of “something back” with credit cards. Some great credit card suggestions are the Discover It card and the Chase Freedom card. Both offer rewards and cash back that you can use on all sorts of things. Here’s a smart money tip: you should put all your monthly expenses on the credit card and then pay it off each month. Not only will be scoring some major points, but you will also be building a better credit score. Interest is your worst nightmare, so never keep more of a balance than you can pay off. Let’s not make the credit card companies richer – let’s make you richer.
I never suggest stock market investing in your 20’s. It’s not like tossing the dice in Las Vegas on a craps game. You need to learn the foundation elements first. Practice makes “perfect” in the game of investing. A cool company called Sprinklebit offers an extensive FREE online Investment University and $5,000 free Sprinklebucks to mock invest. See whether you have the stomach to handle investment gains and losses before you play in the big leagues.
Say bye-bye to miserably low brick and mortar savings interest rates and say hello to high-yield savings accounts. This one is a no-brainer. If you earn .01% interest with your traditional bank savings account, but can earn 1.00% interest with an online bank, wouldn’t you make the switch right away? Your motto for life needs to be – save, save, save – and save with a reliable bank that is going to offer you the best interest rate possible. The best places to look are Ally Bank and Capital One 360.
Student Loan Refinance:
Student loan payments are the worst, and rates are all over the place. There are so many options now for refinancing your student loans, and even government programs like the student loan forgiveness program. SoFi is a leader in alternative student loan refinancing and offers great rates and options for students. They even have an entrepreneur program geared towards those biz lovers who are starting their own business. Make sure you do your research before you refinance and know what your options are. The best way to score the best deal goes back to point #1 – have a solid credit score and the world will reward you. See how full circle money is?
Student discounts don’t just apply to students, and they are everywhere you look – at restaurants, bookstores, even Apple offers student discount rates. For more of life’s necessities, you should get really familiar with your college credit union. As alumni you can often times have access to the credit union for life. Here you can save money on car insurance, bank accounts, loans, and even health insurance, not to mention travel and all sorts of perks.
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