Make Your Own Luck This St. Patrick’s Day With These 4 Money Moves
Luck is one of those things usually attributed to pure chance, like finding a four-leaf clover in a field. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own good luck — especially when managing money. It takes a bit of financial savvy and free time to start making those kinds of moves.
In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, here are four ways you can help make your own financial luck.
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No. 1: Find a budget that’ll stick
Creating a budget can be difficult — you might have tried different tips and tricks that didn’t work. But as LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz puts it, the best budgeting method is the one that’s most likely to stick.
“They’re both good,” Schulz says. “They’re both effective. But neither will work if you don’t stick to them. Ask yourself some questions about what you think you’re most likely to follow, and then commit. You’ll be glad you did.”
No. 2: Prioritize autopay
If you’re still relying on a calendar or phone alarm to remind you to pay your rent, credit cards or other monthly bills, it’s time to embrace autopay. Not only can it reduce the chances of you missing any payments, but it can also save you some much-needed headspace to focus on other important tasks.
No. 3: Check your credit report regularly
Related to building credit with a history of on-time payments, it’s also important to keep track of your credit. That means tracking your score and checking your credit report. You can easily do the latter via AnnualCreditReport.com, which is providing free weekly reports from the three major bureaus through December 2023 (after, it’ll revert to once every 12 months).
“It’s a great way to not only get a handle on where you stand financially, but also to make sure you haven’t been a victim of identity theft,” Schulz says. “If you have been, one of the best ways to find out as soon as possible is to review your credit report.”
“But fraud isn’t the only reason why your report could be inaccurate,” he adds. “Simple clerical mistakes can sometimes appear, and that can hurt your score, too. It’s hard enough to have good credit. The last thing you want is for someone’s negligence to hold down your score unnecessarily.”
No. 4: Save for future needs (good and bad)
Planning for the future is important — and making sure to make room for the unexpected is as important as focusing on your goals. That usually means you’ll need to fund a savings account (or several).
One bonus: Having savings amid repeated interest rate hikes (like now) will increase your returns.
“If you’re not taking advantage of what’s out there, you’re just leaving money on the table,” Schulz says. “And hardly anyone can afford to do that.”