Like most people, I didn't know what I was doing with my life. So one day, I enrolled in community college and began my post-high school journey. It was tough and I was not satisfied with my father paying all my bills, tuition and expenses. After a semester, I got a job from my school's career fair. Having an income changed everything and was the next chapter in my life. It was nice having paychecks roll in every two weeks but without proper guidance and education, it can be overwhelming. You do not know where your money is going and soon, you have no idea where it went. It was time I educated myself.
First, I signed up for money management software. In this day and age, free software is readily available. I looked online for the best financial advice I could. I concluded that I needed to track my spending. I started an account at Mint powered my Intuit. The application took my expenses, income, and debt to show me my net value. It was useful to know what my obligations were, where my income was going and how much I had in my various accounts.
I also joined a credit union. It was a no-brainer because a credit union is an institution like a bank but owned by it's members. If you are a long time customer and establish a relationship with the bank, you can take advantage of great rates on car, mortgage, student and personal loans. Having a credit union strengthened my financial situation.
Y.N.A.B. was next on my list. It is important to assign every dollar you earn a purpose. Whether that purpose is expenses, savings or leisure, you need to be active in budgeting you money. YNAB was very useful for me because it simplified the process. It is also free for students.
Finally, credit cards. Yes, credit cards are important in strengthening your finances. Most people use credit cards poorly. The most important rule to credit cards is not to spend more than you make. Your expenses should be less than your income. Furthermore, if you have a good grasp on your budget, your credit cards should be used mainly for the expenses you were going to incur anyway. Your gym membership, Netflix, food, etc. should be placed on a credit card because you will incur these expenses anyway. The most important rule however is to pay off your balance every month and never pay interest. You don't need to pay interest to have a good credit score. Treat credit cards as a middleman between your money and necessary expenses. Earn the points and cash back and get paid to spend your money. NEVER PAY INTEREST!
I hope joining SALT can help me better my finances. Everyone has improvements to make in their financial situation and I hope this organization can educate me to become better with my money. I am still learning and can learn even more.