Incorporating even just a few of these 15 tips for financial wellness can help free up dollars you can put toward completing your degree.
Track every penny you spend for 2 months. Every. Single. Penny.
You can do this old school (pen and paper) or not-so-old school (Excel). The point is for you to analyze it to become aware of your spending.
Stop spending money at night.
If you’re an early bird, make it 8 P.M., if you’re a night owl, make it 11 P.M. Set a time and try to stick to it, If you can’t do a daily deadline, pick one day a week where you don’t spend money all day.
For any purchase over a certain amount, wait 24 hours before buying.
If I want to buy anything that costs over $100, wait at least 24 hours. Try to avoid the impulse buy. Waiting 24 hours might help you realize you don’t actually need it, or it will get you more excited about it.
As soon as you get paid... start to save.
Move $25 from your checking or debit account to a savings account every paycheck. Do not touch that money. The goal is to get in the habit of paying yourself first (or paying your future self first).
Make saving a game.
After saving $25 on the first day of the month, set a goal to save even more during the rest of the month. Maybe you set the goal of saving another $50. After a few months, treat yourself with some of the extra money you’ve saved!
Check your credit score & study your credit report.
Make sure what’s on the credit report belongs to you. Make a plan to improve your credit score by cleaning up your credit report or establishing a payment history that will work to your advantage over time.
Analyze your insurance expenses at least once a year.
Contact three different insurance companies and compare pricing. It’s easy to stick with the same company for years. But you may be missing out on the best pricing.
Expecting a tax refund this year? If so, get rid of it.
The refund is your money that you’ve already earned. You’ve been making an interest-free loan to the U.S. government. Talk to HR and stop making that loan and get your money back sooner.
Cancel (at least) one subscription this year.
Subscriptions add up and canceling (at least) one every year will put extra money back in your pocket.
For 1 month during this year, do not eat out. At all.
Maybe going a whole month is too ambitions. Start with a weekend. Then a week. Work your way up!.
For 1 month each year, eat out of your pantry and your freezer.
Only buy perishable groceries during that month (and be sure to eat every single penny/ounce of your perishable food).
Open an IRA or IRA Roth savings account.
The difference is that with a Roth IRA, your income is taxed today, while with a Traditional IRA your income is taxed when you withdraw in retirement.
If you have children, set up a 529 college savings plan.
The 529 College Savings Plan is arguably the best-of-the-best of all the tax-preferred investment plans that the IRS provides us.
For every debt payment you have, pay more than is required.
Pay an extra $20 for each payment or round up to the next even $100 increment. Make a one-time, non-recurring extra payment every other month.
Set 4 financial goals for the next year, 3 years, and the next 5 years.
Share your goals with your partner. By working on the goals together and making progress together, you will all take full ownership of these goals and all of the pride that achieving them gives you.