Monday, November 18, 2013

The Bare Essentials

Relevance to the post is self-explanatory.
Read this if: 

1) You like money and being responsible but you have no idea where to start. 


The hardest part about having a blog about personal finance is that I know people read my posts but I don't know if they ever do anything about it. I've gotten a couple of messages from people who did (someone felt very fulfilled after checking his credit score :D ) but I'd like to see more action. I think part of the problem is that most of the people who read Money Matters are in college - I know how busy a student can get. Here are some steps you can take towards financial awesomeness, that shouldn't take more than an hour or so each to complete!

These are in order of how important I think they are, starting with the most important: 

1) Get a checking account. 

This should be obvious but having a bank account is crucial. Money in a drawer somewhere is better than no money at all, but there are so many things that you can do once you get one set up. If you do not want to do anything else for your money, at least get a checking account. 

2) Get a savings account. 

This is especially important for those of you who have money to spare or if you don't spend much. Interest on savings accounts doesn't amount to much right now, but putting money away in a conscious effort to save it is a good habit to get into.

(Note: There really aren't many differences between checking and savings accounts anymore, but the point is to have somewhere to put money with the intention of saving it.)

3) Start building credit with a credit card. 

I know people who would scoff at this, but if you are RESPONSIBLE with a credit card (that is, you DON'T go over your credit limit and you ALWAYS pay it off on time and in full), a credit card can be a great tool. It's a fantastic way of building credit, which will really help you save money down the road. If you can't get approved for one, see my tips for other ways to build credit

4) Start investing. 

Time is the most valuable thing you have. Start early, and you'll be glad you did. If you have earned income, try a Roth IRA (or a 401(k) if your company offers one). If you don't, try investing in a index fund. 

Bottom Line

My philosophy is: do what you can now to help yourself later. The things I'm recommending really don't take long, and I am here to answer questions if you want advice or help getting started.


As always, contact me with questions or suggestions! You can either comment directly on the post or send me an email to 

Photo credit: ucumari via photopin cc

1 comment:

  1. (someone felt very fulfilled after checking their credit score :D )

    Someone .... their? Tsk tsk. So there!