The thought of money can be daunting. "Am I saving enough? What about retirement? What happens if I get fired?" While these stress-inducing thoughts might run through your head, it shows that you're on top of your finances and better with money than you think you are.
According to lifestyle website Lifehack, if you create a monthly budget, don't stress out at the end of the month, and you live well within your means, then you're doing way better with your money than you think. Knowing how to manage your finances is part of being an adult — whether you like it or not. It's important to know your credit score and how much money you have in the bank so you can pay your bills on time and receive low interest loans. But even if you don't have a million dollars in savings (who does?), it doesn't necessarily mean that you're not doing well financially. As long as you're not excessively stressing about your finances, are paying your bills on time, and take time to save money each month, then you're doing just fine. But if you need a little more reassurance, here are nine signs that you're doing better with your money than you think you are.
1. You Find Ways To Maximize Your Savings
Even though you have a while until you retire, you're already thinking about ways of save money for your retirement. "Taking advantage of your 401K is probably one of the smartest financial decisions you'll ever make, especially if your employer matches. If you have an employer who offers matching 401K or health savings plan contributions, find any way you can to maximize your savings so you can maximize your matched amount. Don’t miss out on an opportunity for free money and a reduction in your taxable income," says money expert from Mint Holly Perez.
2. You Have Automatic Recurring Monthly Payments
"Given that most Americans juggle on average 11-15 bills a month, it can be challenging to stay on top of your money. Sticking to due dates, especially for something like a credit card, is very important to your overall financial health as missed payments can affect credit scores, etc. Setup automated recurring monthly payments with your credit card, cable and other fixed rate or expected monthly expenses. Pro tip: Set the payment dates for mid month or a time when you know you’ll have ample money in your account every month (like the day after payday!)," says Perez. If you scheduled your bills to be payed automatically, then you're doing great. It means that you know exactly how much you have in your bank and you're not spending money like crazy.
3. Part Of Your Paycheck Is Directly Deposited Into Your Savings Account
You have your financial situation down to a science. Any extra money you have left over from your bills and groceries, is directly deposited into your savings account. "Work with your employer to have a portion of each paycheck deposited directly into your savings account. By having the money directly taken from your paycheck before it even hits your checking account allows you to forget you ever had that money. Self employed? No problem. Set up an automatic transfer into your savings account twice a month. The quicker you can move that money to your savings the less you will be tempted to spend," says Perez.
4. You Use Financial Apps
Being on top of your finances means you know exactly what's going in and out of your bank account. You're not praying to the money gods in hopes that your bank account is above $100 every time you check your bank statement. You have financial apps to notify you exactly what's going on so you're not surprised later on. "Use budget tracking apps like Mint to help combat the ever common overspending. Mint allows you to set up specific budget categories to help you spend smarter. You can opt-in to receive notifications alerting you if you’re coming up on your monthly budget for shopping, gas, entertainment or whatever you spend your money on most," says Perez.
5. You Have A Money Jar
Being frugal with your change may sound annoying, but over time, that change can add up. If you have a coin jar in your home, it shows that you'll willing to save even the smallest amount to help build your future. "Each time you use cash to complete a transaction, drop the change into a jar. If you use cash more often, you will be surprised at how much money accumulates by the end of the month," says Perez.
6. You Can Pay Your Bills
According to Business Insider, a 2015 study from the Pew Charitable Trusts claims that 55 percent of Americans either spend more than they make or break even. If you can pay you bills without having to go into debt, then you're doing more than OK.
7. You're Not Carrying Any Credit Card Debt
While a lot of people say not to get a credit card, it's actually good to have one to help build your credit. And if you do have a card with a low balance (or you pay your monthly bill all at once), then you're golden. According to Business Insider, it's not a good idea to have a lot of debt — especially credit card debt — because it doesn't help you build wealth. It can prevent you from building your future because the banks won't give you a loan or they'll give you one with a very high interest rate.
8. You Have A Great Credit Score
Anything about 700 is good. You probably receive better interest rates on your loans because the banks consider you financially responsible. Isn't that nice? According to Time, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com Greg McBride said, “It’s a measuring stick that tells you where you stand now, and over time, you want to be in a position to make sure that score is increasing, particularly if you are starting from a low point."
9. You Have An Emergency Fund
According to Business Insider, founder of Prout Financial Design Dennis Prout said, "When families or individuals who don't [have an emergency fund] face an unexpected expense, they may have to borrow to cover the tab." Prout continued, "That can lead to a cycle of debt and financial insecurity — and make it difficult to save for the future." Having an emergency fund is vital, and if you have a little something in the bank, then you're doing just fine. Try to grow the amount you have in the bank by creating a budget just for your savings. Even if you add an extra five dollars a week into your account that's five dollars more than what you would've had.
Being financially stable doesn't mean that you have to have a million dollars in the bank. It's about knowing how to handle the amount of money that you do have in a mature fashion. Even if you only have half of these signs going on in your life right now, you're doing better with money than you think.
Images: Pexels; Bustle