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Everyone likes to save money, but not everybody knows how or where to start, or what to do with the funds once you have saved them. Luckily, money is not the taboo topic of conversation it once was and some of the most dollar savvy people are opening themselves and their financial wisdom up for the rest of us to take advantage of.

Some tips may seem obvious while others more unique however even the most well-known tricks of the trade will not work to their full potential if they are not properly executed. Improving your relationship with your finances and always learning about how to make your money work for you is a trend that will never go out of style and the earlier you start having this conversation, even if only with yourself, the closer you will be to reaching financial freedom one day.

Manage Your Debt

Debt can feel straightforward, you borrow a certain amount and then you pay it back in installments. While essentially this is spot on, there are details surrounding each type of debt that you should be familiar with so that you can manage your repayment plans with your best interests in mind. Student debt, for example, is a type that is quite common and has a long lifespan, so it can be easy to become complacent with the payments.

Consider the option to consolidate and/or refinance your student loans. Interest rates are constantly changing are the odds are high that the rates you qualified for as a young adult with little to no credit history, have improved over time as you have built up your financial reputation. There is a guide to help you understand your options and figure out the best choice for you when it comes to student loan consolidation and what borrowers need to know. Refinancing your student loans can free up cash each month that you can allocate towards other areas of your budget that you feel are important in the short, or long-term.

Restructuring the terms of your student loans means that you will ultimately pay less over the lifespan of your loan if you are able to secure a lower interest rate. A few ways to take advantage of these savings would be to pay more than the minimum on your loan each month, start or add to your emergency fund or nest egg, or contribute to a high-yield savings account. The best part about a refinance or debt consolidation plan is that the money that is freed up monthly appears without you having to make any major changes to your budget to free up cash.

Focus on Retirement

If you want your retirement to look a certain way, or to happen at a certain age, you are the key player in making that happen for yourself. If your employer offers a 401K plan that is something that you should take advantage of, but if your goals are more aggressive, then your savings plan needs to be too. A hack that millennials specifically are currently getting vocal about is opening additional accounts that will be available upon retirement. The mentality of do what others will not do now so you can have what other’s do not have later applies here.

Deciding on if you should contribute to a pre-tax or a traditional IRA can be as easy as having a conversation with someone in HR at your job, a trusted friend or family member with proven financial smarts, or a qualified employee that works where you currently bank. Understanding the difference between the two styles and the perks and penalties associated with withdrawing from both will help you avoid a potential hiccup in your retirement plans.

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