Keep a tab on your finances

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Healthy financial practices include saving money rather than spending it when possible to invest in the future.

April is recognized as National Finance Literacy Month and provides an opportunity to teach the importance of reducing unnecessary expenses and saving.

OneMain Financial Loan Specialist Kourtney Nixon said it is important to establish a budget and live within it.

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Besides setting aside money to pay off a mortgage, car loan and/or credit card bill, it is also important to monitor smaller expenses such as eating out, she said.

In her job she’s noticed that a number of people wait to pay their bills the day its due. But she recommends the practice of paying bills ahead of time.

“It all comes down to self-awareness,” said One Main Financial Loan Specialist Elizabeth Ladner. “People work with wants rather than needs and that’s where they face trouble,” she said.

Ladner said it’s important to pay off credit card debt and keep track of the household’s income.

Although having a good credit score is ideal, the use of credit cards as a second source of income is not advised, especially for young adults, Nixon said.

She said people tend to forget that when they sign up for one or more credit cards, they are signing a contract to make payments on time.

A lot of young adults do not know how to manage their credit because it’s a lesson that has to be taught at home due to the lack of coursework about it at schools.

“Live within your means. And if the need arises, approach a financial consultant who can work according to your needs and budget,” Ladner said.