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10 Financial Decisions You Should Stop Putting Off

10 Financial Decisions You Should Stop Putting Off

It is never too late to start taking care of your financial needs, if you recognize that you need a well developed financial plan to meet your current and future financial needs. If you are still unsure where to start and what decisions to make, here is a list of top 10 financial decisions you shouldn’t be putting off to kick start a better a financial future for yourself.

Start early

If your finances are not on track and take time to really think about them and start now. Now is the best time for you to start building a secure financial future even if you are too old to save much.

Stop relying on your single income

Find new avenues to increase your income. If you are relying on just one income, be on an active lookout for developing a second stream of income. You can do part-time jobs, online work , work from home, sell on ebay and Gumtree but start looking for new and innovative means of increasing your income. Higher level of income can help you to not only achieve mental comfort but it will also help you pay off your debts easily or save more.

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Start building an emergency fund

Do this by making regular contributions to the saving accounts offering you best returns. A basic rule of thumb is having savings at least equal to 3 to six months of salary but it can vary depending upon your circumstances, family size and income level. A good way to trash your savings is to save it into money market funds. If you are living in UK, you have a really nice way of saving your emergency funds in tax-sheltered individual saving accounts or ISAs as they are normally called.

Automate your finances

This will help you develop the habit of saving automatically as well as help you pay off your bills and debts online. Remember, there is always a choice to automate savings or debts. A better way is to automate your savings and expenses rather than debts because if you automate debts, you may end up not having enough cash flows in the end to fund your other expenses.

Decide about timing and location of your retirement

Start saving for your retirement now because if you start now (if you are not in your 40s already) time will be on your side and with compounding impacts, your retirement savings can easily reach your target level once you reach the age of your retirement. If you are young and starting your career, look for investing into IRAs and 401(K) if you are employed. Sooner you start saving for your retirement, a bigger saving pot you will have in the end. With cost of medical care increasing, chances are that most of your savings will go to your healthcare so save enough so that you can really enjoy your retirement savings.

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Develop a plan to pay off your debt and stick with it

There are different methods to start prioritizing your debts and paying off. Snowball method suggests paying of smaller debt first whereas another technique of paying off your high interest rate loan first is also often recommended. However, debt also has an emotional drain on all of us so you can start to prioritize debt on the basis of their emotional intensity rather than their cost.

Have a life insurance policy in place

In the case of an emergency it can help your family to actually get some financial cover. There are lots of insurance policies ranging from covering damage to your appliance to your life but put off all insurance decisions but one of having a life insurance policy in place. Having a right amount of life insurance however, can vary depending upon your individual circumstances but focus at least on having a sum assured at least equal to 3 years of your current salary.
< h2>Start to save for your down-payment of your dream home

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Paying as much as you can in down-payment can reduce your monthly mortgage payments as well as interest rates. If you are planning to buy your home now with no or very little down-payment in savings, it is better to rent rather than buy.

If you are considering buying your own home, you may have to recheck whether you should buy or rent

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If costs associated with buying such as interest rates, repairs, taxes etc are greater than what you can afford, it is better to rent rather than buy.

Start to build your credit history

It can help you get good rates when you finally decide to buy your own home. Credit cards can be a great way to develop your credit score provided you don’t mess with them. Use credit cards to develop your credit history rather than as a tool to buy things which can depreciate in value quickly.

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Personal finances can easily be managed provided we take right decisions at the right time. When in doubt, always seek advice and focus more on things which can help you save more. One final word! Start now to track your expenses not to know where your money goes but to know how you can discipline yourself by cutting some of the unnecessary expenses.

Image Credits :

Featured photo credit: Morgue via cdn.morguefile.com

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Published on July 4, 2018

Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

Don’t want to overspend your budget, swipe your credit card too many times, and feel like a financial mess? Instead of beating yourself up for the bad financial decisions you’ve ever made, create a new plan!

The solution is simple, save more and spend less. But, we all know it’s easier said than done.

One problem is finding quality apps that save you time and money, and aren’t just hype.

Luckily, there’re many great money management apps available at your fingertips. Here are 10 reliable money management apps that can help you save money, and crush debt.

1. Personal Capital

    When was the last time you’ve tracked your net worth? Probably months ago or maybe never. Personal Capital allows you to easily track your net worth and plan for retirement.

    Here are some of its main features:

    • Sync many investment accounts, and expenses (mortgage, credit cards, etc.) in one place
    • Discover hidden fees and how much they’re affecting your retirement plan
    • Wealth management for investors requiring a long-term strategy

    With Personal you’re free to track your expenses and net worth.

    Available for: iOS and Android

    2. Mint

      If your smartphone could only install a few apps, Mint would be one of them. Why? Because Mint tracks all your balances and bills in one place.

      Here are some of its main features:

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      • Effortlessly track all your bills and balances in one dashboard
      • Categorized expenses to understand where you spend your money
      • Uncover hidden fees, and determine your investment style with sophisticated retirement tools.

      Feel at ease with managing your money by a reputable company that isn’t going anywhere.

      Available for: iOS and Android

      3. YNAB

        Everyone needs a budget, there’s no way around it. YNAB (You Need A Budget) is an easy to use app that will change the way you think about money. Their motto is to “give every dollar a job”, and you’ll quickly discover why.

        Here are some of its main features:

        • Easily sync all bank accounts in one place
        • Visually see your debt paying progress with eye-catching charts and notifications
        • Customized categories setting saving goals

        The best part about YNAB is the community that comes along with it. You can hop on the YNAB forum to receive support, listen to the YNAB Podcast or stay tuned for their weekly videos.

        Available for: iOS and Android

        4. Wealthfront

          Albert Einstein once said “compound interest is the eight wonder in the world”, and for a very good reason. The problem is, most people are scared or unwilling to learn the basics of investing. This is why Wealthfront is the perfect solution for the hands-off investors.

          Here are some of its main features:

          • Variety of investment account options including IRA, Roth IRA, and more
          • Your portfolio composed of 7 different asset classes
          • Automatically rebalanced portfolio
          • Daily tax loss harvesting

          Wealthfront is perfect for people requiring investment guidance, or prefer a hands-off solution.

          Available for: iOS and Android

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          5. Clarity Money

            If you’re staying on top of your budget but want to take your finances to the next level, Clarity Money can help you. Clarity Money helps you stay under budget and build a personalized savings plan.

            Here are some of its main features:

            • Easily cancel subscriptions with one click
            • Synchronize bank accounts fast
            • Transfer money effortlessly between different accounts

            Clarity Money isn’t an app that does it all. But, it does make transferring money and canceling subscriptions fast and efficient.

            Available for: iOS and Android

            6. Acorns

              What if there was a way to quickly gain confidence in investing your money, without too much risk? There is, and Acorns is your solution. With Acorns’s technology, you’re able to make investments as small as $5.

              Here are some of its main features:

              • Automatic contribution option
              • Customized portfolio tailored to your needs
              • Low management fees ranging from $1-$2 per month

              Stop wasting dollars on expensive coffee. Instead, invest them towards a brighter financial future.

              Available for: iOS and Android

              7. Albert

                Do you budget by only subtracting your expenses from your income? If so, how would you discover any overpayments or extra money you could save? This is where Albert shines, and it does it all free.

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                Here are some of its main features:

                • Receive notifications for overpayments, hidden fees, and low balances
                • An Automatic budget that’s built around your spending and income
                • Easily track debt and set new financial goals

                While Albert does offer a paid option, most of its core features are FREE. So, what better option to save?

                Available for: iOS

                8. Prism

                  Have you recently forgot to pay a bill because life got in the way? Prism automatically tracks your bills and syncs your bank accounts in one place.

                  Here are some of its main features:

                  • View all your account balances in one glance
                  • Bill due dates are automatically pulled and tracked
                  • Receive early reminders for upcoming bills

                  If your budget is on “fleek” but can’t seem to stay on top of your bills, Prism is your go-to app.

                  Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon

                  9. Mvelopes

                    Remember hearing about people using envelopes to budget their money? Well, Mvelopes is the new envelope system for this generation. Easily create monthly budgets and track your saving goals.

                    Here are some of its main features:

                    • Connect unlimited bank accounts
                    • Real-time budgeting with auto transaction syncing
                    • Low monthly $4 fee or $40 annual

                    Mvelopes can help you crush debt, save more, and help you stop overspending. With its low monthly fee, it’s worth a try.

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                    Available for: iOS and Android

                    10. Wallaby

                      Most people don’t have time to track their credit card’s changing rewards and interest rates. Because of this, you need help reaping the most of your credit card’s rewards. Wallaby is the app that will help you do just that.

                      Here are some of its main features:

                      • Automatic recommendations for the best credit card to use for each transaction
                      • A friendly user interface, displaying credit cards with their corresponding images
                      • Free to use

                      If you’re using the same credit card to make your purchases, you may be leaving money on the table. Give Wallaby a try if you’re ready to maximize your credit card’s rewards.

                      Available for: iOS and Android

                      Take control of your finances and experience financial freedom

                      Picture yourself staying on budget and saving more money than you’d ever imagined.

                      It took hard work and dedication but you’d finally learned how to manage your money. You have to start taking control of your spending and saving habits.

                      You now have a list of reliable apps that can help you build better money habits, what are you waiting for?

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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