How to Be Financially Savvy

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974_4183712 (1)When possible, choose federal student loans rather than private loans – Federal loans have flexible repayment terms if your employment dreams don’t go exactly to plan once you graduate, and they generally have better interest rates. Be smarter about your loans and try to avoid student loan pitfalls.

If you have a federal student loan and you are struggling with payments, check out the repayment options – Call your lender and ask them whether they offer an extended, graduated, or income-based plan.

Have a mortgage payment that’s below 28 percent of your monthly income – As a general rule of thumb when you are trying to decide how much house you can afford to buy, stick to 28 percent below your monthly income and go from there.

Make your salary discussions at your job about the needs of your company – Your employer does not care whether you want an increase in salary to buy a bigger house or to survive. What it cares about is keeping an employee they consider as good. So when you are negotiating your wages and looking for a raise, make sure that you emphasize what you bring to the company.

Evaluate purchases by the cost per use – It might seem more financially responsible to buy a $5 trendy shirt than a $30 basic shirt, but that only works when you ignore quality. When you are trying to decide if the latest apparel item kitchen gadget, or tech toy is worth it, determine in how many times you will wear it or use it.

Spend your money on experiences, rather than things Putting your money toward a concert or a vacation, rather than spending it on material objects that are overpriced, will provide you with more happiness for your buck. At least that’s what research has found.

Shop by yourself – Shopping with a friend can cause you to spend more money. “Oh that’s so cute on you!” can lead to you making a purchase you might not otherwise make, so why not leave your socializing to a stroll in the park or some coffee time, and go shopping on your own?