If you are struggling to save money, do not panic, because you are not the only one. According to statistics, more than 50 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 saved up. Around 30 percent of Americans have no money saved at all. While those numbers are scary, there are ways to improve your financial situation and start saving some money. Here are three personal finance habits that will help you start saving today.
Impulse purchases can wreck your savings account in a hurry. Statistics show that five out of six people in the U.S. are prone to impulse purchases. Additionally, almost 20 percent of people say they have spent more than $1,000 on an impulse purchase. A habit you can develop is to force yourself to wait at least one day before you make a nonessential purchase. By implementing this 24-hour cooling off period, there is a good chance you will realize you do not need the product or service in the first place.
Check Your Credit Report Often:
Unfortunately, many Americans avoid checking their credit reports and scores. Many people have no idea what their score is and how it can save them money. If you want real borrowing power in the future, make it a habit to check both your report and your score frequently. You are allowed one free credit report per year from all three of the credit reporting agencies in the U.S., TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You can request a free copy of your reports by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
However, this report does not include credit scores. If you want your real credit scores, you can order them through all three agencies by paying a fee. Additionally, many credit reports contain errors. You can increase your score by having errors on your credit report removed.
Pay Your Bills on Time:
Another sure-fire way to increase your credit score is to pay your bills on time. Keep in mind that your payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score using the FICO-based scoring model. Your credit utilization ratio, which is how much available credit you use, accounts for 30 percent of your credit score. When you pay your bills on time, you are not only helping your credit, but you are avoiding those costly fees that come with late payments. Some lenders and credit card companies do not give you a grace period if you are running a little behind on your payments. The second you miss a payment by the scheduled due date, you are hit with late fees.
Yorkville Advisors, LLC is a privately owned hedge fund sponsor.