With the stock market acting like a roller coaster and affecting the economy, there is much uncertainty in the air for 2019. Here’s some advice of how to save more, spend less and be a smarter investor.
Some financial experts are predicting for 2019 that a recession might be coming. There is more volatility with the stock market and death is a growing as consumers continue to default as well as many other financial issues that are brewing ahead.
As we cannot know for certain but whatever happened in any given year and usually with the stock market because we cannot even predict a winning lottery numbers it’s always best to just save money and assume you have no money so that way when an economic crisis does take place you have already secured yourself.
While no one likes to have debt, it’s smart to pay the debt as much as you can to eliminate the total. One step to take is to put in order of the credit cards in an Excel spreadsheet in order of highest interest rate and pay them off and bigger increments that way.
Know your debt. Knowing your total debt is a helpful. One step is to have a category be for credit cards only and then also other installment loans. Organize this by interest rates and due dates. If necessary, look into consolidating your debt to you lower your interest rates.
Spending less is the way to go. Challenge yourself to go for three days, then five days and up without spending a single dime. This will help challenge you should you ever be in a financial crisis.
Make sure that you have approximately six months of emergency savings. Having at least 3 to 6 months of income saved can help protect you in the event of a job loss or other emergency.
Check out savings accounts online. As more Internet bank start to become competitive check the rates at BankRate.com for varying interest rates. If necessary, split your savings account now between two different savings banks.
Check your credit score quarterly. With annualcreditreport.com offering free once a year credit reports. You can use the three credit reports from Trans Union, Experian and Equifax.
It’s best to take a vantage of them every four months. Such as, in January get your Trans Union report. On May 1 to get your Experian report. On September 1 get your Equifax report. You do not need to do in that order. It’s up to you as they are free.
However, most major credit card companies now give your credit score for free at any time and update weekly. As such, Capital One uses CreditWise to provide your score. Further, you want to check your score directly from a FICO.com.
If you’re score has gotten better, then check out your car insurance. Have your insurance agent review your policy and see if your new score can lower your insurance rate. Shop around for car insurance. But don’t give out all your information. Do you a superficial search. One company I recommend is AAA insurance. They also have universal AAA insurance. You do not need to be a AAA member to have insurance through them. Switching to AAA actually lowered my insurance by more than half.
Mix your banks. You should always have more than one bank. This includes at having at least one bank, one credit union, and at least one online bank. For banks, you should also have at least one local or one regional and one national bank. Never put all your eggs in one basket. Such as, having your utilities be paid from one account and having your cost-of-living bills such as mortgage or rent come from another account. Your credit cards be paid from a different account also.
Verify bank fees and rates. Check the fees at each bank to see what they charge you. Many banks now offer a free checking account. If your bank is charging you, then you can also set up automatic direct deposit yourself to go between both accounts so that way you can avoid being charged over $120 or more per year.
Check your retirement accounts. Even if you don’t have much in there, get it going. Make sure it’s on the path of where you need it to be. If necessary, put 5% into your savings account and 5% more into your retirement account. Your retirement account will grow quicker and further than a savings account.
Speak to a financial planner about your investment policy’s. See if your financial investments are on the right track or if you should rearrange the direction of your financial goals.
Freeze your credit. As the economy get tougher, cyber criminals do more criminal activity. Freeze your credit even if you do not suspect anything. Data breaches will be on the rise whenever there is an economic situation. Get in contact with all three credit agencies to talk to them about freezing your credit. It does not take long.
However, you need to make sure you write down all the information and keep it locked such as in a safe. You will need the same exact information you used to freeze your credit to unfreeze your credit. You will not be able to unfreeze your credit at all unless everything is exactly right as you state when you do freeze it. So take notes. Write everything down. Put it in a safe.
Make a budget. Even if you believe you’re OK financially, it’s best to cut your budget and live below your means before you do end up struggling. Those that set and goals for financial longevity live below their means. They challenge themselves constantly to go with less and less. These are the people that know themselves and are not afraid to be humble. Because they know that the truth in security is having financial longevity. Make a budget and stick to it.
Remember, no one will make you financially secure except YOU!