Congratulations! You’ve made it through the longest stretch of education you’ll be forced to take in your lifetime.
Now that you’re free to choose your life path, whether that means heading off to college, university or starting a career, chances are you will also be free to choose how you handle your money.
Start off on your best foot and check out our tips that can help you stay on track and keep your bank accounts happy.
Create a Budget
Every personal finance book, blog or article will tell you budgets are essential. Another way to look at a budget is to see it as a plan.
Think about a big goal you set for yourself and you achieved. How did you get there? Chances are you had a plan in place and you stuck to it as best as you could. The same thing goes with personal finance and saving.
Think about something you want to save for. Maybe it’s a new car. The only way to ensure the best chances of success are creating a solid step-by-step process and checking off smaller, incremental goals. Before you know it, all the little achievements will add up to financial success!
Try this: Sit down and physically write or type out a basic budget. All it needs to include is your Income (any money coming in from working, side jobs, parents) subtracted from your Expenses (food, car payments, car insurance, car loans, student loans, fuel, rent, utilities, entertainment).
The amount that is leftover will give you an idea of what you could realistically save month to month, and how long it will take you to buy that new car.
Students especially do not typically have the cash upfront to pay for a car outright. Keep in mind there are companies out there like Auto Loans Calgary and Finance Today that can offer help with cheap interest rates.
Credit cards are not free money
Although swiping a card to make a purchase that doesn’t directly debit your bank account may seem like free money, it’s far from it. Credit card companies usually give you 30 days to pay of the balance you have accumulated on your card and if you don’t, they start to charge you money in the form of interest.
Depending on which company or bank you’ve acquired your credit card from, the interest rates charged vary ranging from 9 to almost 30%!
This means, they are charging you a additional percentage on top of what you already owe. So you can see how accumulating debt can happen in no time.
The more you default (don’t pay), the bigger your balance gets and the larger the amount of money they charge you.
Unless you can pay your credit card statements off in full every month, you should really only try to use them for emergencies. Avoid using credit cards on consumer goods like clothing, fad tech products/gadgets or anything that isn’t essential; draw a firm line between your needs and wants.
They can be helpful to build up good credit, but If you feel like you really can’t trust yourself with a credit card, that’s okay too.
When going to make bigger purchases, for instance, a car, companies like Auto Loans Calgary and Finance Today don’t require you to have past credit. They approve everyone for a loan regardless of your credit history.
So even if you decide against building credit, you still have options.
Don’t Buy a Brand New Car
Although the allure of a shiny new car is hard to resist, the best value for your money is in buying a used vehicle. New cars depreciate as soon as they are driven off the lot, meaning you will never be able to sell that car anywhere near for as much as you paid for it.
Obviously the cost of a used car will be a lot more affordable as well. If you’re worried about risk, dealerships like Auto Loans Calgary and Finance Today also offer a one-month assurance that if anything goes wrong with your car, they will fix it at no cost to the owner. Car dealers like this are more reliable as this shows their stringency about the cars they allow and sell on their lot.
If you’re looking to purchase a bigger ticket item like your first car, Auto Loans Calgary and Finance Today know this can be an overwhelming process for first-time buyers. Visit them online to see what options are available and how they can help you with the entire car buying process.