Some time ago, I was asked to be a financial accountability partner for someone who needed help when they were making financial decisions. They gave me open access to their finance information and told me to question anything they did, and keep them financial responsible. In that process, they ask me for advice on things they could do to stay a good steward. This list is my list of financial advice, not school trained, but life trained.
- Return the tithe to God first, before taxes. That means, before you write any other check to anyone else. You can play the money shell game with the phone, gas, or electric company.
- 401k early and often. Every time you get a raise, half of it needs added to the 401k amount. This way you never miss the money.
- Force rank debt by interest rate not by balance. Pay off higher rates first, always. It may look like you are paying more interest to that large debt. But over the life of the debt, the higher interest rate will be more.
- Use credit to advantage, but always carry a zero balance. Don’t let pride get the best of you. You don’t need to keep up with the Jones
- Be accountable. Early in your adulting years, set limits. Later in life adjust them as needed or as the means increase.
- Always have at least a two months salary saved. If not three. If you lose your job, you may not fins a new one quickly.
- Set a budget and keep to it. Period.
- Many will disagree with the one, if you struggle with saving money, use tax return for big projects.
- Never ever pay minimums on your debt.
- A credit card balance is not how you better your credit score. Debt to credit ratio is the bigger key indicator.
- Never buy a car based upon monthly payment.
- Do not take financial investment advice from a friend. Insider verses opinion.
Your financial health needs to be a long term strategy. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.