Growing up you probably heard the statements below a lot, but I think they are worth repeating.
•“Pay yourself first” – When you get paid, put 10% of your paycheck in a Savings Account.
• Keep a good credit score.
• Borrow only what you can afford.
• Live within your means.
• Always know what you owe.
• If you make the debt, own up to it and make arrangements to pay it. Bankruptcy is not an option.
• Pay your bills on time (mail the check at least seven days before due date). If you pay your bills online, then pay at least three days before the due date.
• Save your spare change in a large container. You would be surprised how fast it will add up.
• Balance your checkbook once a month when the statement arrives. If you do not know how to balance a checkbook, look at the back of your bank statement and follow the directions. Basically you will cross off each cleared transaction with those in your check register. After you have completed this, take the ending balance on the statement, add any deposits that have not cleared and subtract any checks that have not cleared. The ending balance on this should then match the balance in your check register.
• Check your bank account by phone at least once a week to make sure no one has stolen your identity and is using your card. Be careful utilizing online banking. If your security is not strong, hackers can steal your information while you are online.
• Know what the fees are for items such as Returned Checks, Check Holds, Overdrafts and monthly account fee structures.
• Many financial institutions offer a service to notify you of suspicious activity on your bank/credit card, so take advantage of it.
• If your bank card is lost or stolen, either go to the nearest branch or call them immediately.
• When you use an automated teller machine (ATM), make sure you are aware of the people around you.
• If someone comes up behind you and demands money, give it to him or her and then report it to the bank and the police. Do not be a hero.
• Do not share your personal identification number (PIN) with anyone or store it where anyone can see it.
• You should only have one card that you use only for emergencies.
• If you use your card, pay it off monthly.
• If you have a large balance, pay more than the required monthly payment to avoid high interest charges.
• You can use your credit card to build your credit score, so make sure to pay it on time.
• Check credit card statements for charges to make sure they are yours.
• If your card is lost or stolen, check your statement for the number to contact and report it immediately.
One last thing, make sure to get your free credit score once and year and check it over thoroughly. It just may save your credit!