Reasons You Need To Be On Top Of Your Finances

Money is a feminist issue — and yet, women are still reluctant to talk about it. According to a recent Bustle survey of more than 1,000 Millennial women, more than 50 percent of people said they never discuss personal finances with friends, even though 28 percent reported feeling stressed out about money every single day. Bustle’s Get Money series gets real about what Millennial women are doing with their money, and why — because managing your finances should feel empowering, not intimidating.

One of those key moments when adulthood slaps you across the face is when you first realize that you’re a grown-up and need to handle your own finances, or else scary things will happen. The reasons you need to be on top of your finances range from, “so my Starbucks addiction doesn’t bankrupt me” to, “so the bank doesn’t seize my home,” and all of them are important. Managing your finances becomes even more crucial as you age and have to start asking yourself certain intimidating questions: How can I invest my money to make more money? When will I be able to retire? Will I be able to afford name brand toilet paper forever, or will I have to switch to generic?

One of the many tricky parts about this is that the area of finances isn’t one taught in school as commonly as math and history (also important). Yes, you can study it in college; but shouldn’t we be teaching kids about money from a younger age? In 2012, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said, “Financial education supports not only individual well-being, but also the economic health of our nation … Consumers who can make informed decisions about financial products and services not only serve their own best interests, but collectively, they also help promote broader economic stability.”

So, it would seem that teaching people the reasons to stay on top of their finances is something that should happen sooner rather than later. What exactly are the reasons why properly managing your money is so vital? These, for a start.

Also, check out the “Get Money” stream in the Bustle App for more tips and tricks on how to save and spend your money.

  1. You might be charged for things without your knowledge, like hidden fees in a legitimate charge.
  2. You’ll better avoid credit card debt.
  3. You’ll find easy ways to save on purchases.
  4. You’ll learn to use credit cards to your advantage.
  5. You could pay off debt faster.
  6. “The #1 reason is independence …
  1. You’ll see the bigger picture.
  2. Red flags will show up before it’s too late — like a bill that randomly (and inaccurately) shot up out of nowhere.
  3. Your credit score and financial history will work in your favor.
  4. You’ll spot theft before it’s too late.
  5. “It contributes to the well-being of those who depend on you, whether it be parents, siblings, or children … freeing them to focus on achieving their financial goals,” explains Tonya Rapley, CEO of My Fab Finance and CFO of FOAM, to Bustle.
  6. You could be charged money without your consent, as in a bogus credit card charge.

14. You’ll pay off student loan debt (or other debts) faster.

15. You’ll learn what’s a necessity and what’s a luxury.

16. Freedom! “You don’t have to be wealthy; you just need to be in control of your financial goals and liabilities. Facing your finances and coming up with a plan is often the hardest part, but once you do that you’ll be able to make sure every choice you make brings you closer to your goals, not further away,” says Lauren Lyons Cole, money editor at Consumer Reports and certified financial planner, to Bustle.

17. You won’t be surprised come tax season.

18. It’ll be easier to know when to pay with cash versus a credit card.

19. You’ll better keep track of money you’re owed for refunds or reimbursements.

20. Being late in paying bills could mean having a harder time locking in a good interest rate on loans, according to Priya Malani, partner at Stash Wealth.