While investing in cpxx may be one avenue to put your hard-earned money, but I think you should take a step back and examine your whole financial picture, from spending to saving, every dollar coming in and going out. If you haven’t before, a good way to track spending is to take last month’s debit or credit card statement and go line by line, embarrassing yourself a bit to see all of the charges that probably could have been avoided. From there, setting up a budget is not a bad idea, so you can allocate a certain amount of money for all expenses, food, gas, and spending, so you can hopefully curb the amount of money going out. From there, there are a few other money moves you can make to ensure you are getting ahead.
Check Your Credit Report
It doesn’t seem like anyone is safe these days, whether you get your card information taken while you leave your card out for too long while you’re paying a bill, pretty soon you’re getting a text from the credit card company asking if you made random purchases. Even store, let alone credit bureaus are getting hit as well, so it’s a good idea to review your credit report at least once a year to ensure all accounts are up to date and accurate, not to mention monitoring your credit score on a monthly basis, where it’s listed on your credit card statements.
Build Up an Emergency Fund
Much like you can’t help if a store gets hacked and your personal info gets leaked out, you also never know when life will throw unexpected charges your way, so it’s a good idea to be as prepared as you can. Keeping a few months’ worth of expenses in an account is a great way to ensure that if an auto repair, vet bill, or needing a new appliance comes up, you won’t need to put on a credit card to pay for the charges, setting your budget out of whack as you’re not trying to pay it back with interest.
Stop Paying Credit Card Interest
Speaking of credit card interest, that is probably one of the costliest money moves you can make is paying interest when you cannot pay the full credit card balance by the due date. Depending on the balance on the card, the already high APR on the card will add plenty to the monthly payment, so you can forget about making the minimum payment if you plan to pay off the balance anytime soon, otherwise the debt could be continuing to pile up and sending you on a financial downward spiral.
Now if you can use a credit card responsibly and pay off what you charge (and what you can afford), a rewards credit card makes sense because you can earn points and cashback on purchases you make, and if you’re not going overboard to watch the rewards pile up, you’re essentially earning free money that you were going to make anyways on your debit or other credit card you were using. If you can get in the habit of using for every purchase, it could add up to hundreds of dollars a year in airline miles, gift cards or simply cashback to you.
Don’t Miss Out on Free Money
On an even larger scale for free money, check at work to see if your company offers any company-matching retirement contributions, as otherwise not putting in the max of what they’re willing to put in could not only cost you thousands of dollars a year, but could add up to tens of thousands over the course of your working career, maybe even hundreds of thousands by the time you’re ready to retire. Retirement may be the furthest thing from your mind if you have decades left until you’re ready, but the sooner you can save the better, as it will go by fast and you want to be prepared as best as you can.
Now’s a Good Time to Earn Extra Money
Although the weather has yet to cooperate, spring is here technically, so it’s time for some much-needed cleaning, and what better to do with the items that have been collecting dust over the winter, let alone in the garage or storage that you haven’t used in years, could be best sold, whether it’s a garage sale, online, or used for donations, the extra money earned could definitely help to ensure that your money moves are on track so you can become financially independent.