If you’ve ever been in a tough situation financially, what have you done to get out of it? While there are probably a lot of answers to that question, one solution is to simply pay more attention. If you’re confused, here’s some insight into what I mean…
Read the fine print: Sometimes you find a deal and you’re excited that you’re getting something for less than you normally would. But sometimes those deals really are too good to be true. Let’s say you just got a new laptop and it comes with a year of Apple TV+. Let’s also say that while that service doesn’t have a ton of content you love, it makes sense to at least check it out. That all sounds great, but since you don’t use it often, it’s not on your mind very often, so now you’ve had a new computer for a year and a half and you’ve been secretly paying for Apple TV+ for six months. I never said this happened to me, why are you assuming that? Stop it. Paying closer attention to what you think is “free” could prevent you from paying for something you didn’t really want in the first place.
Don’t assume everything is okay: You know you get a free credit report every year from each of the three credit bureaus, right? When was the last time you paid close attention to your credit score? Even if you have good credit(I use CreditKarma, and I’m not being paid to tell you that), you should still pay attention to what’s happening on your credit reports. Your scores jumping up or down is usually an indication that something has changed and if someone has stolen your identity in some way, monitoring your credit is a great way to know it.
Direct deposit has made you soft: I’m turning 40 soon. I still remember getting a paper check on pay day. Back in those days, you would open it up, glance at your check to see if it looked right and then you would look at your pay stub to see how much money the government decided to take that pay period. We all did it. But these days, you might check your balance on your banking app and that’s the end of it. How often do you check out your electronic pay stub? Not often? Yes, I’m often guilty of that as well. Between state and federal taxes, social security, and retirement funds, there’s usually a lot going on with your pay stub. Save yourself a headache later and make sure you’re double-checking your stub each pay period so you can be sure your money is going to all the right places, including your wallet.