Article | Budgeting
Good Habits for Maintaining Your Finances
Keeping your finances maintained just got easier with this post. We’ll help you break down simple ways to stay ahead.
Once you’ve created your budget and focused on your finances for six months to a year, it’s time to begin the important work of maintaining them. After creating a budget and starting to track your spending, it can feel easy to slouch on your finances, but we encourage you to practice good posture .
Maintaining your money is not about simply sticking to a budget; it’s also about finding new ways to adjust and mold it. This post is designed to help you evaluate your funds and look for areas of growth. Let’s check out some habits that may help you!
Re-evaluate your budget. Financial situations, much like life, change. That’s why it’s smart to look at your finances from time to time to see if anything needs to be rearranged. Sit down with your budget and make notes, then from those notes consider options that may serve you better.
Prioritize your spending. Consider places where you spend extra money and adjust it to fit your goals or current situation. Cutting something out that isn’t a necessity could really help you save for something you need. You don’t have to cut it out forever either; a month may make a difference.
Be mindful of the process. You might be thinking, “There aren’t any savings right now.” That’s OK. Budgeting still matters, and you can be productive. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it’s not always easy. But, persistent focus will impact your finances.
Consider using credit cards on a consistent basis. You don’t have to spend a lot. Just try to keep movement on your card. Consistent use typically impacts two parts of your credit score calculation: length of credit history and new credit. That’s about 25% of your score!
Pay extra if you can. Paying even a little over what you owe is a great way to cut interest costs down. It also gets you to zero faster. However, consider the impact of doing this as sometimes paying too quickly or in too big of chunks can actually lower your score; this will just depend on the specific circumstances.
Be mindful of closing out your credit cards. In some situations, closing out a card may just make sense. Just be mindful that it can hurt your credit. The risk can be financially worth it or helpful depending on your situation. Credit is ongoing and calculated off your payment history, so keeping cards open can help build it. Remember, opening and closing credit cards can have implications on your credit score, so make sure doing so is the right decision for you.
Keep fair expectations for yourself. Reporting on your credit typically happens once a month. Change takes time. You’re aren’t going to see huge jolts in your score right away, but your small, on-time payments are powerful when added together.
Challenge yourself. Focus on your budget and spending. Note habits or places where you could improve. Make a challenge where you try a no-spend weekend or try borrowing something instead of purchasing it. Get creative and see where you can save in unexpected areas!
Add interest to your savings. Savings accounts are a great way to separate your spending money from your savings. However, you can take it a step further and look for an account that offers interest or maybe higher interest than what you currently have. Online savings accounts without ATMs often have higher rates than physical banks.
Paying attention to your finances in this way is the key to success. Most importantly, remember to celebrate when you meet a financial goal. It’s a big deal to commit to even one of these habits and stick with it. Adopt these habits and approach your money with confidence!
Vanderbilt is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Vanderbilt does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history or credit rating.
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