Personal finances is a hard topic that many of us struggle with – I personally don’t understand why it’s not taught in schools as it’s a vital life skill that everyone needs. Without good personal finance habits you will struggle to get ahead in life, and it can impact everything that you do. If you’re wanting to improve your personal finances, here are three tips that I hope help you as much as they’ve helped me:

1. Care About Your Credit Score
Your credit score may not mean much to you right now, but as soon as you want a loan for something, then it’s going to become very important. Without a good credit rating you might find it near impossible to get a mortgage, which could really impact your chances of moving forward financially in life. At 18 years old when you get your first credit card, you might not be concerned about how your credit score will turn out, but I personally think it’s very important to be mindful of it as it’s the one money related thing that will impact your lending abilities.

The first thing you’ll need to do is know your credit score. You can figure this out easily online, and once you have this number then you will have a starting place, meaning that you can begin improving your credit score if it’s not where you want it to be. Strengthening your credit score will make any loans that you want to take out a lot easier, so be sure to pay attention to think number.

2. Pay Off Debt
This is probably the biggest influencer in your overall credit score – how much debt you have and how you’ve paid it back. I use a credit card every single day, even though I don’t need the credit aspect of my card. I use it to build up my credit card points as well as to improve my credit score. Many people end up with credit cards and fail to pay everything off, resulting in high levels of interest each month. If you have student loan, mortgage and credit card debt that’s going to influence your credit score. Being late with payments or failing to pay something off, can really negatively impact your credit score.

3. Set a Budget

I find having a budget so helpful! Each month I have a set amount of money for eating out, shopping and for random things that I’d like to buy. Without a budget I find it so hard to keep track of my spending which in turn affects how much money I can save each month. Before I made my budget, I was spending a lot of money each week on things that simply weren’t that important to me, such as eating lunch out every day at work and expensive lattes. Obviously it’s nice to eat and drink out once in a while, but if you do it every day you simply don’t appreciate it that much and it can impact your ability to save and get ahead with big purchases.

Working on your personal finances is important, no matter your age and financial position, so use these tips to try to get ahead as much as you can!

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