In order to live a full and happy life, one should master their personal finances. Because, let’s face it, without money, living is pretty miserable, isn’t it? Well, if you’re not some kind of a Tibetan monk, that is. But for us children of the modern technology age glued to our smartphones and streaming shows, living with no money is impossible.
You can be frugal now and live a good life later when you retire. Or you can make millions and lose it still, wasting your money on silly things. It all depends on what kind of a mindset you adopted.
We want you to be prosperous and happy with your life. So we summarized here 5 best personal finance tips that will help you take control of your money and spend it wisely.
#1 Protect yourself against personal identity theft
When your personal information like your credit card data is obtained by someone and used to commit fraud or other crimes, identity theft occurs. The FTC estimates that every year, more than 9 million are exposed to identity theft.
Make sure you know what you do online! Here’s a few tips for staying safe:
- Clear your logins and passwords regularly. Change your passwords monthly. If you are using a public computer this is especially important.
- Pay for online purchases using your credit card, which offers better protection under federal law than your debit card or online payment services offers.
- Watch for phishing, which is a trick where pop ups or spam mimic legitimate businesses but especially banks to get your personal information, which are used to access your accounts. Always verify that you are on the legitimate website with security controls before you enter your personal data.
Read more on how to protect yourself against personal identity theft.
#2 Find good travel health insurance
The second tip is really a rule: always buy travel health insurance, and find the best one you can afford.
Health insurance can help pay part of the bill if you get sick, injured, or need any kind of medical attention. How much and what is covered is defined in your policy. The coverage may depend on where and who will provide you with medical attention.
Those medical facilities and doctors that are in the network of your insurance company will give you a discount. On the opposite, if you go to an out of network doctor you will pay a larger amount and some of the expenses may not be covered at all.
Besides medical care, in some of these policies, you may include accidental death and dismemberment, trip interruption, limited baggage loss, and a Rider for hazardous activities and sports. The amount you have to pay depends on your age, the length of your trip, the type and amount of coverage you want and if you are careful and choose wisely, you may only pay a few dollars per day.
Choose from 9 best travel health insurance companies.
#3 Get rid of your debt
How to get rid of debt fast and what is the best way to eliminate your debt? These questions are constantly popping up in the mind of those with debt. Of course you want to get rid of debt as fast as possible, but many people run into the challenge of doing so effectively.
The best thing to do is to find out what others have done and figure out how to make it work for your goals. It will get easier to eliminate your debt when you know what your options are.
Learn about your options for getting rid of debt here.
#4 Save money efficiently
No matter where you are in life, you most certainly can save more. First, you need to establish a goal towards which you will be moving. Your goal should be attractive and reachable, but not that easy. For example, travel to South East Asia is a nice, challenging goal, but buying a pair of shoes isn’t, really.
To learn how to save money in every stage of life, read this article.
#5 Maximize your 401(k) balance
You know you should have your own 401(k) plan. But once you get it to work, what should you do about it? Remember that it’s important to not remain complacent and always look to improve your financial situation.
Make a long-term investment plan, called asset allocation strategy, and choose a mix of low-cost mutual funds. Stick with your plan even when you see the market faltering. Over the long run it will pay off.
Sounds confusing? Read these 401(k) tips to maximize your retirement savings.
That’s it for the beginning of your personal finance journey. These 5 best tips should get you started in the right direction. And once you’re done with them and took control of your finances, dive into more advanced personal finance strategies and tips on our blog.
Still looking for more? Feel free to check out our comprehensive personal finance guide to learn more about managing your budget and staying financially healthy.