Everyone’s life is different and we all learn life skills in a different order, at a different age, and at a different place in life. No matter where you’re at, here are 4 money skills you should have.
Negotiating purchases: When you were shopping for your first new car after college you probably didn’t have a clue how much you should spend or how much the car was really worth. It’s time to do your homework. Negotiation is a battle and you need to show up to the dealership prepared with knowledge as your ammo. Don’t just accept the price of the first car you like. Make a counter-offer that’s reasonable and don’t be afraid to say no and walk away. Stick to your game-plan and you’ll end up with a good deal.
Budgeting your paycheck: Your first job after college put more money in your pocket than you’d ever made in your life and you probably spent like crazy (at least for a while). Now that you’re older, you need to be seriously thinking about your spending habits and saving for retirement. If you haven’t used a budget before, find one and stick to it. If you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, it’s time to stop it.
Maximizing your credit score: When you’re young, you don’t care about your credit score. But it’s never too early to start paying attention to it. Anything you purchase that requires making payments will be affected by your credit score. The higher your score, the better your interest rate, which will save you a lot of money of the life of the loan. If you need to build credit, here’s how.
Using your credit cards: Credit cards are a valuable tool when used correctly. When used irresponsibly, they can turn on you in a heartbeat. When you get that first credit card, use it periodically to build credit. DON’T overspend. If you want to use your credit card more often, make sure you pay it off every month. EVERY SINGLE MONTH. Don’t miss payments and don’t leave a balance. If you stick to those rules, you’ll be in good shape.