Do you understand your finances? While most of us know how much money we’ve got in the bank (although, a frightening number of us don’t even know that), much fewer of us understand what is going on beyond that number. We don’t understand our debts or how much they are costing us in the long-term. We don’t know how much we spend every month. You might not have a clear view of how much money is available to you, or how much you can save. Many of us don’t know our credit scores or debt utilization levels, and we’ve got no idea of how high our chances of getting approved for something like a mortgage are. When it comes to our finances, we know the bare minimum. But, long term, this just isn’t enough. You need to understand your financial situation and what it means. Here’s why.
To Save Money
Most of us get into debt when we are young. It’s often unavoidable. But, then we make an even bigger mistake. We fail to understand out debts, and they end up costing us a lot more than they should. If you are just making minimum repayments, your debts could end up troubling you for the rest of your life. Costing you much more than their original value. Understanding your finances gives you a chance to clear your debts much faster, allowing you to make savings.
To Plan for The Future
If you need to ask, “how long do late payments affect credit score?” Then you can’t know how yours is affecting you. Without understanding your finances, including your credit score, you can’t plan for your future effectively.
Understanding your finances means that you can start to plan for your future. When it comes time to buy a home, you need to know what you can afford and how much you are likely to be able to borrow. You can’t start looking at houses for your family in any realistic and meaningful way without having this information.
Nor can you think about your retirement. This might seem like a lifetime away, but if you plan to retire at 65, you could live for 30 years without a regular income. If you want to live a happy and active retirement, it’s a good idea to start putting money aside as soon as possible.
To Avoid Cash Flow Crisis
When we live paycheck to paycheck, with no clear idea of how much we spend on our lifestyle, and how much we’ve got to spare, we leave ourselves open to a cash flow crisis. If suddenly one month we spend a little more, we can find ourselves with nothing left until payday.
To Manage Unexpected Expenses
What would you do if your car suddenly stopped working? Or your home needed expensive repairs? Do you have enough money set aside to cover these expenses, or would you have to borrow? Understanding your finances means that you can start saving to cover these expenses, and even if they come before you can afford to fix things, at least you know where you stand.
Rachel K. Belkin, M.Ed, is a journalist and writer with over 15 years of expertise in travel, business and marketing education, health, and local Austin, Texas events.
With a Master's degree in education from Texas State University and a Business Foundations Certification from The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, Rachel's extensive background is highlighted by her published works and contributions to prestigious publications, including HuffPost, Hometalk, Matador Network, AP News, and MSN.com, as well as on her own platforms, Rachel K. Belkin, Elkin Bay, and Probe the Globe.
Beyond her accomplishments in writing, Rachel is a sought-after educator, teaching businesses effective marketing strategies and content creation techniques. Notably, she successfully built a blog from scratch in 2008, ultimately selling it for six figures in 2021.
Rachel's commitment to advocacy is exemplified by her role on the Breast Cancer Resource Center Advisory Council, particularly contributing to the success of the Young Survivor Project. Rachel is also an experienced public speaker with appearances on TV segments for Fox 7 Austin, KXAN, and CBS Austin and as a speaker at conferences and professional networking meetings for business owners and cancer survivors.