How to Become a Personal Finance Ninja
If you want to become a personal finance ninja (who doesn’t?), there are a few key steps you need to take.
While you may not know much about your personal finances right now, this can all change in the future by making a few key changes to your approach.
Let’s examine five things you can do today to put yourself in better position for success in the future:
1. Create a Budget
There is no such thing as a personal finance ninja who doesn’t have a budget.
Although two-thirds of Americans don’t have a budget guiding them, you don’t want to go down this path.
You should break the mold (yes, that’s difficult to say) by creating a budget and doing whatever it takes to stay on track, month in and month out.
Tip: if you don’t like the idea of a pen and paper budget, opt for a spreadsheet or smartphone app. As long as you have some type of budget in place, you’ll begin to feel good about the direction you are headed.
2. Track Your Bills
It can be a challenge to stay on top of your bills, especially if these are arriving by snail mail and/or email on what appears to be a daily basis.
Even so, every personal finance ninja has a system in place for tracking bills to ensure that they are paid on time.
Maybe you keep a folder on your desk that holds all your bills. Or maybe you have an email folder for each and every bill that arrives in your inbox. It doesn’t matter what system you use, as long as you are tracking every bill that’s due.
3. Avoid Credit Card Debt
Did you know that the average American has $3,600 in credit card debt?
Using a credit card can benefit you in many ways. It can also drag you down if you are not careful.
By avoiding credit card debt, you never have to concern yourself with interest charges that have a way of sucking you dry.
If you’ve run into credit card problems in the past, the best thing you can do is avoid these in the future. You may face some challenges when making bigger purchases, but it’s better than finding yourself in debt once again.
4. Keep Your Housing Payment Under Control
Americans have quite a bit of mortgage debt. And in this case, quite a bit means more than $10 trillion spread across financial institutions in the United States.
It doesn’t matter if you have a mortgage or rent a property, you need to be comfortable with the size of the payment. If you bite off more than you can chew, it can take a toll on your finances.
Note: there is more to home ownership than a mortgage payment. You also need to consider the cost of maintenance, utilities, and other regular expenses.
5. Learn from Others
It’s easy to believe that you know everything about your personal finances, but this is not always the case.
Even if you have a firm grasp of what is going on, there is always something you can learn from others.
For example, you could discuss your debt with a professional. This may not be something you want to do, but it’s often the best way to make changes that will have a positive impact on your future.
You should never be too proud to learn from others. Even if you struggle to share your thoughts and feelings, don’t hesitate to see if there is somebody who may be able to provide financial assistance.
[notice type=”info”]Tip: this doesn’t have to be a professional. You may be able to learn a thing or two from a family member, friend, or coworker.[/notice]
These are just a few of the many things you can do if you want to become a personal finance ninja.
If you implement one or more of these tips, it won’t be long before you are making progress and wondering what took you so long to change your ways.
How do you feel about your personal finance knowledge? Do you have room for improvement? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.