If you live paycheck to paycheck, don’t worry–you’re not alone. In fact, two-thirds of Americans are in the same situation. Last week, we discovered in our webinar “How to Overcome Debt and Master Personal Finance in Your 20s,” led by Britt Barney of LearnVest, Even for those of us with student loan debt, personal finance doesn’t have to be a frightening thing. Britt showed how to manage money so you can have a safety net for retirement and travel, while still being able to enjoy eating out every now and then.
Britt’s three most surprising personal finance tips are below:
In Your Life, You’ll Be Happier if You Have the Daily Money Minute.
The Daily Money Minute is a quick one-minute check of your finances every day, whenever you have a minute (or two) to spare—whether it’s while your coffee’s brewing or when you wait for the lift at work. Britt recommended placing the app you use to manage your finances next to the one you frequently check on your phone (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Save your money by seeing a visual reminder every time you’re about to close one of your social media apps.
To Keep Your Finances Organized, Create Multiple Email and Bank Accounts.
You may set up a bill-specific email address. If you’re serious about being organized, you can even forward your electronic bills to yourself with a note indicating the date they were paid. You may also set up a savings account for major expenditures you know you’ll have in the near future (such as those eight weddings you know you’ll have this year). One way to train your mind to save money is by setting up a separate account for your Savings. This will help you get into the habit of regularly depositing money, and keeping it out of reach. Oftentimes, we plan to save money in our checking or savings accounts but end up spending it because it’s right there in front of us. Creating a separate account will help establish the boundary you need to know that the money is completely off-limits.
Some Debt Can Actually Be Beneficial!
Did you know there’s a phrase called “good debt” that refers to debt paid off for an investment? Good debt is defined as debt repaid for an asset because it finances items that will appreciate in value. Student loans, for example, are a form of debt that is good since it allows you to obtain an education. Home payments are also one type of debt that may be considered excellent. In contrast, bad debt is when you can’t pay back the money you borrowed and it doesn’t have anything to do with an asset. Bad debt includes car payments and credit card bills.
Our primary takeaway from the session was that personal finance appears daunting, but it isn’t. You just need to take a few small steps to set yourself up for financial success now and you’ll reap the benefits throughout life (which could mean always having money to fly first class or always having enough money for an extra side of guac). The webinar below has even more tips on managing your money and growing your savings.