Are you ready for a new and improved financial you? Here are four tips to help improve your financial situation. We got these tips from Money magazine.
- Boost your credit score! Experts say you’ll need a credit score of at least 740 to qualify for the very best terms on loans, credit cards and interest rates. The best way to get a higher score is to simply pay down your debts! Aim to always owe less than 10% of your total credit limit. That’s the magic number.
- Cut the monthly money drains. Psychologists say it's easier to cut back by cutting out a recurring monthly expense, than trying to make small changes on a daily basis. Here's the thinking: If every day you're trying to decide whether or not to buy a gourmet coffee - or brew your own – that becomes a daily financial struggle. However, with one phone call, you could cancel a premium movie channel and save yourself $180 a year! So psychologically it's easier to save money by canceling recurring changes - like the gym membership you never use, or an extra phone line in your house.
- Turn off your TV. A recent Boston College study found that the average person spends about $200 for every hour they watch TV in a year! Why? Sociologist Juliet Schor says it’s because TV viewing increases our desire to live like the people we see onscreen, so we’re more tempted to buy the products we see.
- Eliminate your stress. Many studies have shown that physical and mental stress makes you less efficient at work, and leads to more long-term health problems. That could be very costly if stress causes you to get fired, or lands you in the hospital. So do whatever you can to reduce your stress. 56% percent of large employers offer the service of an on-site “health-care coach” – who can help you create a new workout routine, or find a meal plan that reduces stress eating. Otherwise, reduce stress the old fashioned way: Take a 10 minute walk outside and drink less coffee, since researchers have linked caffeine to an increase in stress hormones.