If getting a better handle on your financial life tops your to-do list, well, you’ve come to the right place. After all, everyone wants to save more, get out of debt and aspire for bigger things like asking for that well-deserved raise. Here are some tips that will put you on the right path to better money management.
Make the most of your 401k. That’s right – before you take that big step towards your career, make the most of your 401k. Leaving your money right where it is may make sense, but if you are ready to take the money with you after comparing on options at your future employer, consider a direct rollover to a traditional IRA.
It can be done with one simple step and the help of a smart broker who will walk you through the entire process over the phone.
• Set up automatic bill pay: Don’t pay late payment penalty fever! Simply set up automatic bill pay. You can also request your bill collectors to change their due dates to match your pay cycle. This way, you’ll always have enough in the bank to cover you.
• Save for a rainy day: Dipping into your savings to bail yourself out is the last thing you would want to do. Learn to keep cash stashed in the cupboard for this purpose or you might just slip right back into debt. It would be wise to have an emergency fund to cover you for three to six months. Also, save to cover your annual deductibles like health and car insurance.
• Don’t dip into your retirement account: At all costs, funds in your retirement account should be your last resort. If you take money from that account before you hit 59, you are liable to pay a penalty of 10%. Plus, you’re putting a dent in the money available to you later in life. It simply doesn’t look good.
Finally, follow these steps if you lose your wallet:
– Call your debit card/credit card issuers and prevent unauthorized spending. If you fail to do so until after days and before 60 days, your liability might jump to $500 in event of fraudulent activity, especially in case old debit card misuse.
– File a police complaint and set up a fraud alert or identity theft alert with one of these agencies – Experian, Equifax, Transunion.
– Call your health insurance company and inform them too, if your health insurance card was in your wallet.
– But if your social security card was in it too, consider applying for a credit freeze so that no lasting damage is done.