Personalfinance tips

Start With Small Debts to Help You Conquer the Big Ones

If you have a mountain of debt, studies show paying off the little debts can give you the confidence to tackle the larger ones. You know, like paying off a modest balance on a department store card before getting to the card with the bigger balance. Of course, we generally recommend chipping away at the card with the highest interest rate, but sometimes psyching yourself up is worth it.

Make Salary Discussions at Your Current Job About Your Company’s Needs

Your employer doesn’t care whether you want more money for a bigger house—it cares about keeping a good employee. So when negotiating pay or asking for a raise, emphasize the incredible value you bring to the company.

Start Saving ASAP

Not next week. Not when you get a raise. Not next year. Today. Because money you put in your retirement fund now will have more time to grow through the power of compound growth.

Don’t Assume You Don’t Qualify for Unemployment

At the height of the recent recession, only half of people eligible for unemployment applied for it. Learn the rules of unemployment.

When Negotiating a Salary, Get the Company to Name Figures First

If you give away your current pay from the get-go, you have no way to know if you’re lowballing or highballing. Getting a potential employer to name the figure first means you can then push them higher.

Get a Money Buddy

According to one study, friends with similar traits can pick up good habits from each other—and it applies to your money too! So try gathering several friends for regular money lunches, like this woman did, paying off $35,000 of debt in the process.

Learn How to Savor

Savoring means appreciating what you have now, instead of trying to get happy by acquiring more things.

Get Your Finances–and Body—in Shape

One study showed that more exercise leads to higher pay because you tend to be more productive after you’ve worked up a sweat. So taking up running may help amp up your financial game. Plus, all the habits and discipline associated with, say, running marathons are also associated with managing your money well.

Banish Toxic Money Thoughts

Hello, self-fulfilling prophecy! If you psych yourself out before you even get started (“I’ll never pay off debt!”), then you’re setting yourself up to fail. So don’t be a fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.

Make Bite-Size Money Goals

One study showed that the farther away a goal seems, and the less sure we are about when it will happen, the more likely we are to give up. So in addition to focusing on big goals (say, buying a home), aim to also set smaller, short-term goals along the way that will reap quicker results—like saving some money each week in order to take a trip in six months.

;