Some days, the thought of getting your financial scene together can be daunting. Where do you begin? What can you do right away to make an improvement in your financial prospects?
It can all be a bit overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Here are five easy, lightning-fast things you can do right now to help your financial situation.
Increase your line of credit
One easy way to improve your credit score is to widen the ratio of available to used credit. In other words: call your credit union and ask them if increasing the credit limit on your credit card is a smart move for you. This is a good way of improving your credit score because it doesn’t involve applying for new credit.
Get a library card
No money for Netflix, Hulu, or Spotify? Borrow free DVDs and CDs from the library. No money for the museum or art gallery? Your library will let you borrow free passes to a number of cultural enclaves. No money for wifi at home nor an expensive latte at the coffee shop so you can use their wifi while applying for jobs? The library will let you use their wifi for free. No money for seeing performances? The library hosts visiting writers and academics in their lecture series.
And then there’s the free books.
Set up an automatic savings deposit
Saving money can feel impossible if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. One way to ease into the practice is to start small and build a habit.
Set up a regularly scheduled automatic deposit to a savings account. Even if it’s just $1 a week, it’ll make a difference. Eventually you can increase that number, but for now the important thing is to make it a regular habit.
And if you use a high yield savings account, that little trickle of automatic deposits will gain some healthy interest on the side.
Online banking makes setting up automatic deposits easy and fast. Set it, forget it, proceed with being your awesome self on the daily.
Turn down the heat
Heat’s expensive! But fortunately, you can control it.
One way to save money on heating is to turn down the dial on your water heater. You probably don’t want your showers to be painfully scalding anyway, so turning the heat down a wee bit isn’t going to hurt you. You might not even notice the difference.
Renegotiate your services
Any company that provides you with a service—be it home security, cable, cell phone, or wifi—has a very sneaky model for making money. They get you in at a reasonable rate, and then they quietly inform you a year or so later that your rate is increasing.
When this inevitably happens, you have two choices: You can accept the deal they’re offering you, or you can push back. You always have the option to call your service providers and ask for a better rate!