While Financial Literacy Month may be over, we at Mint live for sharing personal finance tips and tricks all year long!
MintLife readers recently joined a group of consumer finance experts during our #Money411 Twitter chat to discuss better money habits. Did you miss it? Not to worry: we couldn’t pass up sharing some of our favorite chat highlights and money saving tips.
Q: What are the first steps to take when establishing a budget?
- Write or type it down. Seeing it will help you see what you are missing. Don’t forget the small stuff either. – @DebbiKing
- Start by adding up monthly expenses and subtract from monthly income, then plan how to spend remaining $$ – @hperez
- Realize that sticking to a budget does not happen right after you make one. You have to live it. Try it out for 3-6mo. – @dougboneparth
Q: What are your #tips for first time young investors?
- DON’T ignore your first job’s 401(k) plan, if they have one, even if you put in just a little bit of each paycheck. – @OurKidsandMoney
- Make sure you’ve covered your expenses (include CC bills) and are saving for emergencies before you start investing. – @sharon_epperson
Q: What is more important: paying down #debt or #saving?
- The sooner you pay off debt, the sooner you’ll have additional income you can dedicate to saving – @hperez
- It’s hard to save when your extra income is going toward debt payments. If you have debt with high interest rates, focus on that. – @TeamFSINC
- Remember, certain types of debt like mortgages and student loans (dep on your income) are deductible. If interest on a loan is deductible, it costs you less…so factor that in when prioritizing paying down hi to low debt. – @BethKobliner
Q: How can you teach your kids about the value of money? And at what age?
- Kids as young as 3 years old can understand basics like making choices and delaying gratification! Important 2 start early – @BethKobliner
- It’s never too early to teaching kids about #money and #finance. Financial literacy is paramount. Classroom it! – @dougboneparth
- The topic of the tooth fairy is a time to talk to your children about money. Ask how much they plan to spend and encourage to save. – @TeamFSINC
- Kids learn by example (any age) Show ’em anything acquired is earned not given. Make ’em feel pinch of spending their earned $ – @PurpleSky2002
Q: What is the best approach to tackling student loans?
- #1 Priority. Try to refinance all of your loans into one lower rate loan. Sacrifice a new car, an expensive vacation. – @Reit_NotWrong
- Don’t buy the stuff that your peers buy out of college. (Houses, cars etc.) I paid down $40,000 in a year and a half that way. – @GenYMoneyMan
- Consider consolidating fed student loans @ http://stduentaid.gov/consolidation – @BethKobliner
- Aggressively! They are not an asset & you do not need to hold on to them. Sacrifice and get rid of them as soon as possible – @DebbiKing
To catch the entire Twitter chat, just plug #Money411 in your Twitter search bar and get started on better money habits.