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5 Things About Investing That You’ll Regret Not Knowing by Age 30

5 Things About Investing That You’ll Regret Not Knowing by Age 30

You are never too young to start saving money, investing and planning your financial future. Most parents nowadays advise their sons and daughters to start thinking financially as early as their teenage years. The art of saving and investing money is a learning process, but you will never learn anything until you experience it.

Below are five tips you need to know in order to change things around for the better. They’ll give you insights about investment that will help you establish a stable financial future.

1. Recognize the importance of inflation.

Do you know why investing, not saving, is the best path for you if you want to achieve your long-term financial goals? It has everything to do with inflation. Inflation means that the prices of goods and services went up by an average of 1.5% last year. How about your money in your bank savings account? It grew by an average of around 0.87%. So if you want your money to grow and not just sleep securely in the bank, don’t just save. Investing will provide better rates of return and more chances for your money to work for you.

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2. Automate your money management system. 

Automation takes out the emotional factor in your personal finance. Instead of you painstakingly forcing yourself to save or invest every month, it’s more convenient — and more effective — to set up an investing system, monitor it every month and just “forget” about withdrawing it prematurely.

3. Before investing, secure an emergency fund first.

Opening a bank account for your emergency fund is a necessity nowadays, whether you have job or not. Although the interest rate of bank accounts is negligible, the sole purpose of putting your money in a bank is the security it provides and the convenience of withdrawing money from ATMs. Having a bank account influences you to consistently deposit money in your account so that it will grow over time and provide a nice financial cushion.

Force yourself to monitor your daily balance. After all, no one wants to look at an empty bank account, right?

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4. Start learning more about investing for beginners.

Learning the art of investing your money yields great monetary gain if done successfully.

For beginners, seek help or do research. Find someone trustworthy. This professional should have an extensive knowledge about monetary investments. You can also attend seminars done by company firms or you can pay someone to do it for you. A basic understanding of financial management is a major plus when venturing into investment opportunities.

5. Start saving for retirement now.

Thinking of the future gives you a better idea of what to do and how to act now. At some point in your life, you will need to retire from your job and rely on your retirement funds. Having a retirement plan during your career is one way to ensure a steady flow of income when you retire. But if you do not want to avail yourself of any kind of plan because of your limited income, you can always set aside a fixed portion of your monthly salary and enroll in a monthly investment program.

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Discipline is the key here — you need to commit a specific amount monthly and consistently. Setting a target balance for your retirement fund monthly, not annually, ensures that you will be forced to invest a fixed amount of your salary every cut-off. The sooner you start this process, the larger your retirement fund can be in the future.

Pursuing a stable financial future is a life-long endeavor. Learning the hard things as young as possible gives you the experiences and knowledge to commit to whatever financial moves you will make in the future.

Start now and start early!

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Featured photo credit: cohdraNKNmnycns7.JPG/cohdra via cdn.morguefile.com

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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