Dogs like to pet others because we know how much we like it, so we assume that others will like it too. And of course we want to make everyone around us as happy as possible.
One of the biggest causes of stress for humans is worrying about money, so I put together ten tips for helping to improve your finances. My hope is that these pictures and videos will put a smile on your face, and then the tips for helping your finances will give you more long term smiles.
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1. Dog helps to pet the human to sleep
The single most important thing that you can do to improve your finances is to create a budget. The popular 50/30/20 plan is a good option to get the most out of your money.
This budget uses 50% of your income on things that are required like food and shelter. 30% of your after-tax income goes towards things you want, like vacations, gifts, entertainment, or dinners out. Then, the remaining 20% goes to debt repayment or savings.
This is a simple budget that gives you the flexibility to pay for the necessities, pay off debt or save, and then still leaving room to splurge on things that you want. Budgets don’t have to be boring and leaving some cushion for the wants helps you to commit to them without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
2. Dog believes in reciprocity
If you don’t have one already, you should start working to create an emergency fund. An emergency fund is important for when something unexpected comes up and allows you to pay for it without having to borrow money at a high interest rate. Relying on credit cards or pay day loans for emergencies can be very expensive.
Most experts recommend to keep three to six months’ worth of expenses for an emergency fund. Obviously, that is going to take time to save up for that much but even saving a few hundred dollars at the beginning can be helpful. If you had a flat tire and had to fix it, if you could pay that with your emergency fund instead of relying on a credit card with high interest then you’ll be in better shape.
A good place to put your emergency fund is in a high yield savings account. They are federally insured and give higher interest rate earnings than the national average savings accounts. This interest rate isn’t as good as an investment but the key to an emergency fund is being able to access the money as quickly as possible.
3. Gentle dog pets tiny kitten
It is recommended to shop around for car insurance quotes at least once a year if your policy is for 12 months. To get the absolutely best deal, you should shop around every 6 months if that is the duration of your policy. Insurance companies will make rate revisions every year, so it your rate is going up then it’s a good time to shop around.
Other times to shop around for a cheaper auto insurance rate is if you have a major life event that could help you qualify for a lower rate. These life events include celebrating a birthday, improving your credit score, having a violation fall off your record, getting married, moving, earning a degree, buying a home, or renting an apartment.
If you can combine insurance coverage then that is a good option for saving money. If you have home insurance or renter’s insurance, then those can be bundled with your car insurance.
4. Golden Retriever loves this cat
Invest as early as possible to take advantage of compound interest. To give you an example, consider these two scenarios:
The first person makes $4,000 per month and spends every cent that they make so that they don’t have any savings. At the age of 65, they won’t have money saved for retirement.
The second person also makes $4,000 per month, but they invest $800 per month in an index fund that earns an average of 7% return from the time they are 25-64. When they retire at 65, they will have a net worth of $2,112,100.
5. Yorkie pets Dad’s face
If you have a mortgage, you might be able to save money by refinancing. Some scenarios that would allow this to happen are if current interest rates are lower than when you signed your original mortgage. If your credit score is higher, you could qualify for a better rate.
Another scenario could be switching from a 30-year fixed rate to a 15-year fixed rate. This could give you a lower interest rate and the shorter payment period will help lower the total interest paid.
6. I like pets but a hug would be better
Credit cards can be very dangerous for personal finance, but if you have the discipline to use them responsibly and to pay them off each month then taking advantage of rewards programs can give you extra money or cheap travel.
If you haven’t heard of travel hacking before, it is a way to get free or cheap airline tickets and hotel stays by signing up with credit cards and getting bonuses and rewards that can be used towards travel expenses. If you’re not a traveler, then there are also great rewards cards that offer cash back for your purchases and bonuses when you signup for a new card and spend a certain amount of money.
7. Dog pets parrot on the head
If you are making monthly payment plans to a credit card or have any other type of high interest debt, then you should look into consolidating and getting a lower rate fixed loan. This can save you a lot in interest payments, and to help you pay it off faster.
8. Dog pets his best friend
If you have student loans, then it can be a good idea to look into refinancing to get a better interest rate. If you have a good credit score and a steady income then you could qualify for a lower rate.
Refinancing your student loans can help you to pay a lower monthly payment, to give you more cash to use towards other expenses. It could also allow you to pay off your student loan faster, which would save you money on paying interest.
9. This puppy and duck are best friends
Nobody wants to think about life insurance, but if I’m trying to help you with your finances then it is something to consider. The simple thing to ask yourself is if you died would your death financially impact your loved ones?
If the answer is yes, then you should look into getting a policy. Keep in mind that the younger and healthier you are, then the cheaper your life insurance policy is going to be. Even if you answer no, but you think there might be major life changes in your future, then you still might consider a policy.
10. Petting while biting counts doesn’t it?
Raising your credit score is another way to save money over the long-term. A higher credit score gives you better interest rates. If you are able to raise your credit score then you could qualify for a better rate on a mortgage or any type of loan.
Your insurance company will look at your credit score when determining your premiums. Raising your score could help you to save on your car insurance or homeowners insurance policies.
You can also qualify for better rewards credit cards with a higher credit score. Credit cards that give you cash back or points for travel can be a great source of savings as long as you pay them off each month.