over the shoulder view of tablet that say FINANCE on a table alongside coffee and sugar

Making wise financial decisions can increase the odds of a brighter financial future. Often, it involves a plethora of ideas on how to invest, save, and how to cut down on expenses.  Although there are ways to a better financial future, many Americans are struggling with their finances. Statistics show that 67% of Americans have a hard time coming up with a $1,000 to fund an emergency. According to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, most households in the United States are in a precarious situation in terms of finances.

The study adds that those who make between $50,000 and $100,000 have a hard time finding a way to cover $1,000 worth of unexpected bills. In another study done by the National Endowment for Financial Education, a mere 24% of millennials demonstrated financial literacy. Experts note that trial and error and recognizing those errors can teach financial literacy. However, you don’t have to learn the hard way to make intelligent financial decisions. In fact, you can make wise decisions starting today.

Comparing prices can go a long way

Comparing prices can be difficult, especially if you are busy, but taking the time to see which shop sells certain goods at lower prices can save you a lot of money. This rings true whether it’s about grocery shopping or buying big-ticket items such as a house or a car. It is applicable to other things too, according to experts. When traveling, for example, flight and hotel comparison sites come in handy

If you are planning to buy a new car, taking a look at accurate vehicle pricing information is suggested by experts.This makes it possible for you to find the real prices of the cars you are interested in whether they are brand new or used. Automotive industry professionals note that National Appraisal Guides can give you the information you need and that these guides can also help you get accurate prices of other big-ticket items such as boats and motorcycles.

most households in the United States are in a precarious situation in terms of finances.

A season for every purchase

Buying certain items at the right time can mean substantial savings. Experts note that if you don’t have to replace something right away, you can wait for the right season to make the purchase so that you can save as much as 50%. When buying a ticket for a domestic flight, booking 47 days in advance can save you as much as $50. Booking earlier than 114 days before departure can cost you more though and prices will also be higher if you wait to book until the last minute. Based on this, it can be safely said that when it comes to airfare, timing is everything.

If you are planning to buy a bicycle, buy them during the off-season because this is the time where deals as high as 50% off are available. For cars, it is best to shop when new models hit the dealerships. This means having to go there early fall. Every item has its season and buying things at the right time will surely make your wallet very happy.

Staying away from debt

American consumer debt is now over $1.3 trillion, according to a Nasdaq report in 2017 and it is growing due to a significant gap in income and expenses. Healthcare costs, for example, saw a 57% rise in 2017 while the average income only went up by 28%. Apart from this, lenders now have higher interest rates making it more difficult for many Americans to get rid of their debt burden.

Experts note that there is a need to limit personal debt to avoid adding to the current debt. Making lifestyle changes can help, according to finance advisers. This can include refinancing auto loans to get better rates, paying off purchases with higher interest rates first, and using a credit card only when your budget allows it. If you pay your credit card bill on time, you can negotiate for a rate reduction too. This can save you a lot of money for future purchases.

Many Americans are also burdened by student loans, based on recent numbers. To ensure that your current debt doesn’t grow, it is ideal to avoid unnecessary purchases. Reducing entertainment expenses and replacing them with inexpensive entertainment options, for example, is a good idea. You can also opt to limit your spending on clothes and use coupons for groceries as much as possible.

The road to a better financial future

Apart from reducing your expenses, you also need to save for the future. Forbes magazine notes that saving goals must be specific, measurable, realistic, and easy to track. Setting aside money for the future can be difficult but if you look at your spending as a reflection of your priorities, you will be right on track. Financial freedom is a state of mind and you can only achieve this if you put your future first.

by Jennifer Dawson


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