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C: Hi, I'm Chelsea 
L: and I'm Lauren
Both: and we are the Financial Diet!

C: And today we are going to be talking about something that I hold very dear to my heart as a former financial hot mess, which is things that you can do today to be better with money. Part of the reason why I was always so terrible with money is because a lot of financial stuff feels so big and so long term and scary and you hear stuff like, you know, retirement and goals and numbers with more than two zeros in it and it just seems intimidating and you don't know where to start.

So what really helped me was learning things that I could do within the day to make those bigger goals manageable. And to start things off, there are really three core changes that I made, that you can make today, that helped while not taking up too much time at all.

So the first one for me was I downloaded an app called Mint, which we have talked about before. And basically for someone like me who is allergic to excel spreadsheets, it's super helpful to just help you see your money, know where you're spending it, and start to manage it better.  

So my second thing was that I started just automating my savings, which meant that a check would come in and a certain amount would be taken away and sent to my savings account before I would see it, because if it was up to me to manually transfer it, I would never do it. 

And the third one has to do with my credit, which, as some of you may recall, I thoroughly ruined in my youth. So what I really did to rehab my credit is I put some monthly bills onto my credit card, uh, which were automatically paid on the credit card. And then I set up my checking account to pay off the balance on my credit card automatically each month.

And that just means that those bills that I would have had to pay otherwise were being cycled through my credit card, which means you build the credit and also as an added bonus, if you have things like points or miles or cash back, you kind've accumulate them for free because you were going to have to spend that money anyway. 

L: So to build off those ideas about how we can seriously help our financial lives by tomorrow morning, we've reached out to 7 money experts to get their best advice. 

C: So our first expert is Dan Levine, who in addition to being a business owner for over 30 years also educates entrepreneurs. And he says that since most of us will probably seek out a bank loan at one time or another in life, it's super important that we all know, understand, and work to improve our credit scores. So he says today you should start by looking up your credit score so you know it, which you can do for free, and we'll include a link to that in the description. And start reading about what you can actually do to improve it and he says we should all be shooting for a score of at least 700.

L: So our next tip comes from J Money, the founder of Rockstar Finance. He says to track your net worth. Now it only takes a few minutes to do this and it can be a little bit painful at first because you really see the granular detail about your debts and your assets, but it's essential to staying motivated on your path to becoming more financially responsible. And we'll provide links to resources that will help you track your net worth in the description below. 

C: Our next tip comes from Allison Elkund who is a financial advisor and a TFD Contributor. And she reminds us that it's tax season! Boo! But her advice for tax season is to make sure that you're getting the most out of your retirement accounts because, as she reminds us, putting more money into your tax qualified retirement accounts could mean getting a break on your taxes this year. 

L: So our next tip comes from Bridget Eastgaard. She's the founder of the blog, Money After Graduation, and she actually has an MBA in finance. And her tip is to put at least $10 towards your debts or even $10 towards your savings. She says that over the course of a decade, $10 per week adds up to more than $5,000. Basically, a little can go a long way towards savings or towards debt.

C: So our next tip comes from Jane Hwangbo, who in addition to being a former investment analyst and portfolio manager, started the Money School with Jane. And her tip is actually a little bit more like existential let's say. So her advice is to forgo one thing today that you want to buy, whether that's a cup of coffee or something bigger, whatever it is, to feel good about that, sort of appreciate it, and then start to make that a habit. She says to really appreciate the feeling of not buying something as really an investment in the future.

And she says that a key quality to people who became wealthy in life as opposed to just sort of being born wealthy is that they view all their purchases as trade-offs. Now that means, whether it's, you know, a cup of coffee or a dress or even a really big purchase, they weigh that against what they could possibly do with that money in the future. And she says that seeing your purchases in this light and really weighing them against each other is crucial to building good money habits. 

L: Our next advice comes from Jaclyn Gallo. She's a writer and ad tech analyst here in New York City and she actually has 3 tips for us. And her first piece of advice is to open up a second checking account. She says you never know what will happen to the first one and your card information could get stolen and in the meantime, while you wait for your new cards to come through, it's nice to have a back up. 

Her second piece of advice is to sort your debts from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate. You wanna focus on paying off your debts with the highest interest rate first. She said that it can be tempting to want to clear out the smallest amount of debt firs, but in reality you'll pay more in the long term if you don't focus on getting rid of that high interest debt. And her third tip is to plan and buy most of your groceries at once and this'll keep you from overspending on the food portion of your budget. 

C: Our last tip comes from Sarah Noelle, who is the founder of the personal finance blog The Yachtless. Her tip for the day is to open and Acorn account. Basically what an acorn account does is that it takes your credit card transactions, it rounds them up to the next dollar, and it transfers that spare change into an investment account. She says that since these are such small amounts of money and they're on purchases that you're already making anyway, you really won't notice it, but it will really add up over time. 

So those are just a few of the things that you can do, literally before tomorrow morning, to make your financial life easier and healthier. If you have a really good one that we didn't include, leave it for us in the comments so that we can all reap the rewards of your wisdoms. 

L: So thanks for watching and don't forget to hit the subscribe button and go to thefinancialdiet.com for more.

Both: Bye!