To finish our three part What High School Didn't Didn't Teach You series, we're going to talk about money management!
If you haven't read them already, you should really read the first two parts to get you up to speed!
Money management is the most simple and most important skill that you'll need to be successful in the real world. Money management can literally make or break your financial stability.
I feel like I'm beating a dead horse at this point. We have probably 6-7 posts referencing budgeting, but it is so so so important to budget your money.
Knowing exactly how much money is going to which expenses can mean the difference between having extra money at the end of the month, and not being able to pay your rent.
Mint App for iOS and Android
There are plenty of different websites and resources that will help you budget your money. My personal favorite tool that I use to track my money is Mint.
Mint is a wonderful website that has a very useful phone application that goes along with it. You can link your bank accounts to this website and it tracks all of your spending habits, current balances, debt, investments, and savings goals. It's extremely easy to use and completely free. We definitely suggest you check it out!
If you'd like to learn more about budgeting, check out our entire post dedicated to the topic!
If you haven't dealt with credit cards, a mortgage, or car loans yet, you're lucky. You definitely will at some point!
Not all debt is bad. In fact there is a lot of good debt out there that can help you make more money! Learning to manage the amount of debt that you take on, compared to your income, is the mark of a good money manager!
The biggest problem that most young adults run into is that they find something that they really really want (like a car or a house) and they go to extreme lengths in order to obtain it. Taking on this massive amount of debt without the ability to pay it off results in defaulted loans and a terrible credit score.
Credit Score! Another important topic when talking about debt. Keeping your credit score high is a great way to find low cost mortgages, car loans, and credit cards that will benefit your lifestyle, instead of hinder it.
CollegeInvestr personally endorses Credit Karma. It's completely free, they have easy to understand graphics, and they offer many tools to help rebuild your credit if you're in bad shape!
Another alternative to Credit Karma is a new website called WalletHub.com. WalletHub provides credit scores that are updated daily! They also provide fraud alerts AND customized credit improvement tips.
Your Bank Account and You
Your bank is the cornerstone of all of your financial transactions. Finding the right one for you is one of the most important decisions you can make when you're young. Many students use the same bank as their parents out of convenience, but that may not always be what's best!
Fees are so pesky. Banks come up with the most ridiculous reasons to charge fees. Find a bank with minimal fees. Because you're young and your finances will most likely be simple, you don't need anything more than a simple checking and savings account. Don't let them swindle you into signing up for a super fancy checking or savings account with a list of fees for things you don't need! Read the fine print!
Banks will run very lucrative specials once or twice a year. They normally hit you with the tag line "open a checking account here and we'll give you $150" or whatever the amount they're offering is at the time. These extra bits of money can be extremely helpful! However, there are always strings attached. Sometimes you have to stay with the bank for a year to get the money, or you have to deposit a certain amount initially, or you have to spend a certain amount on your debit card in a certain amount of time. Once again, read the fine print! Don't get swindled.
One of the most important features of any bank for a millennial! Make sure you can access, and use their online banking system effectively. Being able to transfer money when you're in a pinch is a life saver!
While you're looking into it, make sure your bank will allow you to automatically allocate some of your paycheck to your savings account. That way you can't get yourself in trouble with a little extra spending. 😉
Money management is the foundation on which we build all of our concepts around. If you take nothing else from CollegeInvestr, make sure you take the basic knowledge of these skills. They will be vital on your journey to success!
Remember, we're looking out for you and your future! We have dozens of posts that contain the best personal finance advice we can find. Now, we want to give you our FREE college wealth building video series. If you're ready to take that next step on your path towards success, click the link for details, or sign up to receive it below!
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