July 29th, 2013

5 Habits for Financial Success

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5 Habits for Financial Success

**Today’s guest post is contributed by Euna.**

 

The “YOLO” (You only live once!) mantra is all over pop culture. While the popular slogan may be a fun way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and experience new things, it’s no excuse to be irresponsible with your finances!

Here are 5 simple habits you can start today to improve your finances and help you on the road to financial security.

1. Keep an eye on your accounts

Sounds simple enough, right? Just looking at your balances and latest transactions will help you have a better awareness of your overall financial situation. Apps and online tools like Credit Karma and SaveUp are great for tracking your financial activity and progress.

2. Make mindful purchases

Retailers will do everything they can to encourage impulse spending. Being able to differentiate between what you need and what you don’t is the key! Doing online research n a product beforehand can help you find the lowest prices and decide whether or not a purchase is worth it.

3. Set specific and tangible goals

Instead of saying “I’ll pay off my student loan in around 2 years,” say “if I pay off X amount each month, I’ll pay off my entire loan by [target date].” Setting realistic goals with specific targets and deadlines will help you stay on track and keep your goal top of mind.

4. Pay more than the minimum payment

If possible, pay off the entire balance every month on your credit cards to avoid accruing interest. Use credit cards just like debit cards so you don’t spend more than you have and end up with a giant load of high-interest debt. It’s not worth it!

5. Think about savings like any other bill payment.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Pay yourself first?” It really works! You won’t believe what a difference it makes to put savings into a separate account so that you’re not tempted to spend it. Set reminders to deposit into your savings account every month or schedule auto-payments, and you’ll save up for that goal before you know it.

Building better financial habits is great, but it’s just as important to kick the bad ones. Here are 3 bad financial habits you should avoid at all costs:

  • Don’t raise your standard of living to match your salary every time you get a pay raise. If you were fine with your lifestyle before, chances are you don’t need all those expensive extras. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reward yourself when you achieve your goals!
  • Don’t make late payments. Ever. There’s really no excuse, so don’t do it! Make sure you have an emergency savings fund for those unexpected expenses that do come up every once in a while.
  • Finally, don’t let the “YOLO” mentality ruin your finances. The fleeting happiness that comes from irresponsible spending is not worth being broke.

This post was written by Euna Kim from SaveUp, the first free rewards program for saving money and paying down debt. Build better financial habits and earn chances to win great prizes like cars, vacations and even a $2 million jackpot.

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