- Start Saving ASAP
Not next week. Not when you get a raise. Not next year. Today. Because money you put in your retirement fund now will have more time to grow through the power of compound growth.
- Do Everything Possible Not to Cash Out Your Retirement Account Early
Dipping into your retirement funds early will hurt you many times over. For starters, you’re negating all the hard work you’ve done so far saving—and you’re preventing that money from being invested. Second, you’ll be penalized for an early withdrawal, and those penalties are usually pretty hefty. Finally, you’ll get hit with a tax bill for the money you withdraw. All these factors make cashing out early a very last resort.
- Give Money to Get Money
The famous 401(k) match is when your employer contributes money to your retirement account. But you’ll only get that contribution if you contribute first. That’s why it’s called a match, see?
- When You Get a Raise, Raise Your Retirement Savings, Too
You know how you’ve always told yourself you would save more when you have more? We’re calling you out on that. Every time you get a bump in pay, the first thing you should do is up your automatic transfer to savings, and increase your retirement contributions. It’s just one step in our checklist for starting to save for retirement.
How to Best Build—and Track—Your Credit
- Review Your Credit Report Regularly—and Keep an Eye on Your Credit Score
This woman learned the hard way that a less-than-stellar credit score has the potential to cost you thousands. She only checked her credit report, which seemed fine—but didn’t get her actual credit score, which told a different story.
- Keep Your Credit Use Below 30% of Your Total Available Credit
Otherwise known as your credit utilization rate, you calculate it by dividing the total amount on all of your credit cards by your total available credit. And if you’re using more than 30% of your available credit, it can ding your credit score.
- If You Have Bad Credit, Get a Secured Credit Card
A secured card helps build credit like a regular card—but it won’t let you overspend. And you don’t need good credit to get one!
How to Get Properly Insured
- Get More Life Insurance on Top of Your Company’s Policy
That’s because the basic policy from your employer is often far too little. Not convinced? Read how extra life insurance saved one family.
- Get Renters Insurance
It, of course, covers robberies, vandalism, and natural disasters, but it could also cover things like the medical bills of people who get hurt at your place, damages you cause at someone else’s home, rent if you have to stay somewhere else because of damage done to your apartment—and even stuff stolen from a storage unit. Not bad for about $30 a month!