Self Improvement Month, Self Improvement, self help, finance tips, financial planning, personal finance, personal finance tips

With so many personal finance tips out there on the internet, it can be difficult to weed through the very general ones just trying to grab your attention. We will attempt to give you real insider tips from the experts, based on tried and true methods for getting your finances back on track while also helping you restore your credit score.

Yes, we built our business on helping those already down and out with their finances, but that doesn’t mean we wait until you get there to provide assistance. If you can avoid debt relief and consolidation programs, great, but if you are in a place where you are not sure where to start and the fear and panic are setting in, maybe this blog will reach you in time. Otherwise, check out the info at the bottom for more help! That said, here are some ideas that are worth their weight, and hopefully specific enough to get you started on the right track to credit score CPR and debt recovery:

Have You REALLY Tracked Your Net Worth?

Just about every advice blog out there will tell you to sit down and calculate a few things, starting with your total debt, followed by your budget and income, and finally, how to use the Debt Snowball Payment method to aggressively attack your debt, over time. We have covered this method a few times here and there. However, there are other factors to consider than simply lining up the numbers (although that is absolutely where you should start your quest). Those factors depend on you, your spending habits, how diversified your assets are, and how serious you are about recovering from debt trouble.

InvestedWallet.com shares a personal story about personal finance planning while facing debt, and it’s well worth the read. Here is a piece from it describing calculating net worth, with a solid recommendation for an easy-to-use app to help you with it (linked in the app name below): “Similar to a budget, it’s important you calculate your net worth, no matter how ugly it might be. The difference between this and budgeting? I actually look at my net worth monthly. It also can keep you on track and help you visualize where you are financially. There are some cool apps and online tools to simplify this process like Mint and my favorite, Personal Capital. ALSO, DON’T OBSESS OVER THIS.”

Don’t Skim the Text Books, Learn How Money is Managed

If you are not into world, American, or even personal finance to the point where you are reading books, but you are simultaneously in serious debt trouble, it might be time to bite the bullet and visit your public library. 

Investopedia covers this one well and provides a technical approach to calculating your finances based on a commonly-used chart for monitoring the trading of securities: “Instead of relying on others for advice, take charge and read a few basic books on personal finance. Once you’re armed with personal finance knowledge, don’t let anyone catch you off guard – whether it’s a significant other that slowly siphons your bank account or friends who want you to go out and blow tons of money with them every weekend. Understanding how money works is the first step toward making your money work for you.”

Here are a few suggestions for books to read on personal finance, from a previous Golden Financial blog post.

financial tips, financial planning, self improvement
A shopping cart filled with fresh groceries

Check Your Credit Report for Errors

While it’s not as obvious as “Be smarter with your spending,” checking your credit score and looking for errors is one of those things that seems like a no-brainer but is often neglected. There are also plenty of options to get in touch with the companies that track your credit, and it would be wise to be much more familiar with your credit history and score than simply checking it each time you fill out a new application.

Money.com checks in on this tip and also provides some super great info you might not have known: “Regularly checking your credit report for errors, signs of fraud and identity theft. You’re entitled to a free credit report from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax every 12 months — that means with proper planning you can actually get an update every four months!”

When is it the Right Time to Attack Your Debt?

If you have a full-time job with a W2, it’s tax season. Sounds weird right? Well, it is quite likely you are receiving a refund since you have been paying your taxes out of your paychecks all year. Additionally, there is a perfect time to make a debt payment with your tax rebate, and Forbes shares those details:

“A tax refund may be an exciting surprise, but your best use of your tax refund may be to repay debt. If you have student loan debt, credit card debt, mortgage debt or any other form of consumer debt, use your tax refund to make an extra debt payment. Contact your loan servicer to ensure that your lump-sum payment is applied to your principal balance and not next month’s payment.”

Don’t Hate, Automate!

If your grandpa has ever given you advice about money, it probably started with, “Back in my day…” and the gist of it was about balancing a checkbook manually with a pen and that little notebook that came with your checks.

Nowadays, with advancements in the personal computer and the internet, there are tools available for free that 100 percent automate that process. NerdWallet explains this perfectly: “Technology can help alleviate the tedious aspects of budgeting and prevent setbacks. So why not let it do some of the work for you? Try setting up automatic transfers so you can regularly pay bills or sock money away without thinking about it, and lean on apps and tools to conveniently track your spending.”

“Keep an eye on everything you automate. “You may discover monthly subscriptions that you’re paying for that are no longer valuable to you,” Jones says. “If you’ve got three streaming music subscriptions, maybe one would be plenty.”

If you found our blog looking for financial advice or assistance with credit card debt relief or debt consolidation, call Golden Financial Services today at (866)-376-9846 or info@goldenfs.org. You can check out the rest of our blog here, and do your research on our services here. Let’s talk soon!

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