Some people are just better with money. Now, when you say that someone is good with money, what most people imagine is some sort of a financial wizard. In reality, it just means that this person knows a thing or two about financial instruments that the majority of people are using daily. To show you exactly what we mean, here are four things you can learn to become “better with money” yourself. 

1. How does credit score work?

Your credit score will determine the terms of your loan. It may determine how much money you’re approved of, what your APR is, and how long you have to repay it. The problem is that the majority of people don’t think about their credit score until they need a loan. Then, they find themselves in a peculiar situation where they ruin their credit score unintentionally. 

They usually don’t have collateral to obtain a secured loan, which means that they’re in an awkward position where they have to go with P2P platforms or payday loans, both of which have pretty bad APR.

To avoid this, try to learn how credit score works and start improving it before you ever need it.

There are five parameters, not all of which are intuitive.

  • Payment history: This is the most important factor in determining your creditworthiness. Were all your previous payments (including your subscriptions and utility fees) on time?
  • The amount owed: The more you owe, the bigger the risk you’re supposed to be; however, if you don’t have any debt, you lack credit history (something we’ll discuss in a bit). 
  • Length of credit history: It’s not just the existence of credit history but its length that counts. This is why it’s a bad idea to cancel credit cards or old accounts that you aren’t using.
  • New credit: Loans that you’ve taken out recently will play a huge part in this equation.
  • Credit mix: Even the number of credit types is a factor (albeit a smaller one). 

Now that you understand your credit score, you can start working to improve it, already. 

2. Why you’re never too poor to invest?

Sure, some of you might believe yourselves to be too poor to even pay attention; however, this is never the case. One of the biggest obstacles in the world of investing is the mental blockade about whether you have enough money to start investing. 

It goes something like this - imagine wanting to create a passive stream of revenue. The first thing that pops to mind is buying a rental apartment. Still, you don’t have enough money to buy an entire apartment, which makes you quit on the whole plan. We’re not just talking about the idea of buying a rental property but the idea of getting passive income altogether. 

The same goes for putting money into your retirement fund. It’s better to put in just $100 monthly during your 20s than not putting in anything at all, believing that you have time or that this $100 won’t make a difference.

Another mental barrier is the idea that you’re investing too little to make any real difference. This is just outright not true. Sure, you won’t get rich off major company shares, but there are different assets out there. For instance, you can easily find crypto presales with 10x potential, which means that you can return your investment tenfold. 

The key thing is that you start investing and develop a habit of investing. The sooner you start, the better, and you need to keep in mind that everything makes a difference. Stop making excuses.

3. Figuring out how your credit card works

The majority of credit card users fall under one of two categories:

  • Those who have no idea how a credit card works. This group is either afraid of credit cards or has no idea how to use them to their full potential. 
  • Those who believe they understand how credit cards work. These use them inefficiently, usually creating more problems than they solve with it.

The worst part of belonging to either of these groups is the fact that you’re not using your credit card to its full potential. Depending on how you use it, a credit card can be an asset or a liability. You’re the one who’ll decide which direction your credit card use will take.

To get the most out of your credit card, you need to learn a few tricks. For instance, if you travel a lot, you might want to pick a card with a lot of travel rewards. On the other hand, someone who doesn’t travel that much could pick a card that offers cashback on various subscriptions.

The majority of these credit card companies are trying hard to attract and retain their users, which is why they often sweeten the pot with an extra benefit. However, these benefits vary. The key thing lies in learning how to master the reward points game. If you can manage that, there’s so much financial value to gain.

The key thing to remember is that a credit card is a financial instrument. If you can’t use it right, this doesn’t mean that the instrument itself is faulty. 

4. Automating and gamifying your savings

For a lot of people, the question of mental fortitude is quite serious. Namely, you need to understand that transcending your programming and seeing short-term sacrifices as necessary doesn’t come as easy for everyone. 

The problem is that these steps are sometimes so small that you’ll often feel like you’re standing in place or barely moving at all. So, what harm is there in taking some much-needed break? Just think about it: if the amount of money you can save this month is so minuscule, do you need to do it this month? Can’t you just postpone it until the next month and save double then? We all know it’s not how this works.

The problem is that you’ll feel this kind of temptation all the time, which is why you need a way around it.

There are two solutions to this problem:

 Gamify your savings: The first thing you could try to do is gamify all your savings. This means turning it into a game. A swear jar is the perfect example of this. You set aside some money every time someone swears. Another smart idea is to start a 52-week saving plan, where you set aside some money every week. With each subsequent week, you add n+1 amount of money into the jar.

Automate your savings: It’s even easier to gamify your savings. Just automate your platform to set aside a specific amount every X day of the month (when you know you’ll have the money). This way, you take away some of your agency to avoid scenarios in which you need to show restraint.

Both methods are easy and dependable. 

Boosting your financial prowess has never been easier

By learning just these four things, you can easily improve your finances. The truth is that while boosting financial literacy takes a lifetime, these few tips can make a difference when you just apply the fundamentals. For instance, automate savings and repayments (to boost credit score), start investing every month, and learn what your credit card is good for. This will already make a world of difference.