With the new year comes a ton of resolutions that none of us every stick to. But instead of making a New Year’s resolution to exercise more (boring) or quit drinking (lame), try out one or two from our list, and use the tips we give you to make the most of 2019!
1. Think twice before paying off student loans as fast as possible
This may sound like a weird piece of advice for someone trying to get out of a daunting amount of educational debt. But there’s a way to use your debt as leverage to build more wealth than you could without it.
Consider taking the money you would use to pay off your student loan debt extra fast (you should still be making your regular payments, obvs) and invest it instead. By doing this, you can actually get a return on your money and have it on hand for emergencies, a new home, a car, etc.
But isn’t investing risky?
Yes, investing is inherently risky, but typically the returns outweigh the risks and offer you money that you can actually access. You can’t access your paid-off student loans, ya know?
2. Start saving now (at least a little bit) for retirement
Yeah, I know, you probably keep hearing this and you’re sitting there thinking (just like I usually do) I’ve got plenty of time to start saving for retirement—do I really have to start saving now?
Yes, you do. In fact, you should aim to have about a year’s salary saved by the time you’re 30.
Compound interest, that’s why! If you start saving now, your money will make money for you, saving you from having to make higher payments later on to catch up.
If you’re lucky enough to have an employer that will match your contribution to your retirement fund, start now. Say you earn $30,000 a year and you contribute six percent of your pay each year and your employer matches three percent of that—if you start at 22 you could have over $40,000 saved up by the time you’re 30!
Related: The Best Investment Accounts For Young Investors
3. Be scared of consumer debt, but not credit cards
There are far more benefits to using credit cards (responsibly) than avoiding them.
I put off getting my first credit card until I was right out of college because I knew my spending habits weren’t compatible with all that credit cards can offer. While this means I don’t have a bad credit score, it also means I don’t have much of a credit score at all, which has been a serious hindrance when it comes to getting a car loan and my own apartment.
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If you’re like I was in college, and don’t trust that you’ll be able to save the meager amount of money you get from working a couple part-time jobs, there are credit card options that can work for you!
If you’re a student, try the Discover it® Student Cash Back. For those of you who aren’t students but are working on repairing or building credit, there are secured credit cards, or these cards recommended for people with average-good credit and these cards for those with fair credit. You can also find ways to see if you’re pre-approved for certain credit cards before you apply.
Why shouldn’t you just stick with your debit card?
Debit cards don’t help you build credit (even if you run it as credit every once in awhile), and there are a lot of benefits that credit cards offer that debit cards simply don’t, like car rental insurance and purchase protection.
If you’re worried about getting into debt, take a look at a service like Debitize, which lets you access all the benefits of a credit card with the convenience and control of a debit card.
4. It doesn’t really matter which rewards card you get, so get the best one for your preferences
Read more at: https://www.moneyunder30.com/best-money-advice-for-the-new-year