We all have our own unique way of handling our finances. While some of us are natural born savers, others may have a hard time making it to the next paycheck. Fortunately, most of us fall somewhere in-between, putting away money at times, while making frivolous purchases at other times.
Step One: Find a trusted financial coach; Step Two: Listen to your coach.
Whether you are a professional athlete, a college amateur, or an aspiring Olympian, you probably know what success feels like. You also know a thing or two about being a good sport when things don’t go your way. Good news: this means you already have some of the basics needed to create a financial strategy.
Whether you're a seasoned investor or new to the game, you'll want to make a conscious effort to avoid these three common investment mistakes:
These are the obstacles we all face in trying to achieve our financial goals:
Personal finance, like just about everything else, is mainly common sense. Advice like “don’t spend more than you make; start investing while you’re young; don’t loan money to friends with the expectation of getting it back,” have been around for generations, and most likely will survive the next few generations as well. Even money mistakes that are corrected early enough will have little impact on your wealth going forward. What you do want to avoid are money mistakes that can be hard to recover from.
While owning a home is the quintessential American dream, not everyone is able to purchase a home when they desire. If you’re fresh out of school with a boat load of student debt, it’s probably best to wait until you’ve been working for at least a year before you start looking to buy. You’ll also want to make sure that your credit score is where it should be, since the higher your score, the lower your interest rate will be. It’s also important to pull a copy of your credit report prior to contacting any mortgage companies; examining it in minute detail to ensure that everything is correct. If you do find an error, dispute it with the credit bureau immediately and keep the documentation.
Wise moves to make before things are finalized.
Are you aware of them?
The federal government offers some major tax breaks for older Americans. Some of these perks deserve more publicity than they receive.
In a recent survey by JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy, only 26 percent of those between the ages of 13-21 said that they had been taught how to manage money. Yet, when they turn 18, kids are signing contracts for student loans, opening credit card accounts, and in many instances, living away from home with little financial guidance available.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked financial questions.