Happy halfway through the year! How has your year been going financially? Did you get the promotion you were hoping for? Have you been paying down your debt and getting on top of your money? If the answer is no, that's OK, because we still have six more months to go until next year! So do these five things to be a millennial money hack.
1. Money Plan:
Do you have a plan yet? Just like a map, if you don't have one, you'll always be lost. Sit down with a planner at your local branch (they are generally free) or ask to use your parents expensive broker. Most of them have software that you can plug in your goals and it'll shoot out where you are now and where you need to be. It should include a budget to keep you on track, debt repayment and savings projections. Determine what your D-day is (debt-free day) and write it on a calendar to keep you motivated.
2. Get Your Credit Score:
It is easy to forget our credit score but it is more and more important in our financially dizzying world. You need it to buy anything from a cell phone or to rent an apartment. Contact TransUnion Canada for your free score. The way to keep it up and running is to open a card and keep it for the long run. History of credit is a chunk of your score. Also, don't charge up more than 25 per cent of all of your credit cards. Utilization of less than 25 per cent will give you a good score. And be sure to charge, payback, and charge your cards each month. Place your cable, gym, cell phone on your card and make sure you pay it off each month to boost your score. Having a variety of products helps too like a credit card, line of credit and a car loan is a nice mix.
3. Student Debt:
Take a look at all of your debt to see what is bobbing around there. Many times people will have a government student loan, bank student debt and consumer debt so make sure you see at how fast you are progressing and if you can speed up higher cost interest rate loans -- then go for it. Your money plan should show when it is all paid off based on your payments. Try to speed it up. It's amazing how an extra $50 a month can accelerate your D-day.
4. TFSA Savings:
Save for a sunny or rainy day. Use a TFSA or high interest savings account and plunk in some money from Nana or an income tax return. If things turn sour unexpectedly you will appreciate that. Ask for a raise at work or try to fill up your savings with money on the side. Coupon cutting and movie nights can only generate so many savings but getting some money for working on the side can really add up. If you are good at websites, design work, or painting -- make some money from it. Who knows, your passion might turn into a full-time job one day.
5. Big Assets:
Get some assets. Money badonkadonk is what will make you rich. Try to buy a place or invest the money you save in rent. Take advantage of employer matching programs to save in or outside of your RRSP and build up assets when you are young. Start a part-time business on the side and try to sell it. Real estate, stocks and selling equity in a business are three ways to make some good change overtime. I love big assets and I cannot lie.
Get on top of these five areas and come out this year like a money hack!
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