5 Ways Big Data Is Helping Fintech Evolve

Financial technology has changed the way we operate from day to day. With the number of people and businesses using Fintech growing, comes the ability to utilize Big Data to optimize the technology. But how?

Since the 1990’s we’ve been using the term Big Data to describe all the data collected from our electronic devices. The utilization of this data has helped a multitude of industries, including the financial world. Here’s a list of just 5 ways Big Data can be used to progress financial technology. 

  • Detecting fraud
  • Segmenting consumers
  • Personalizing offers
  • Managing risk
  • Adaptable to regulations

Detecting Fraud

One of the biggest concerns for most consumers and businesses is protecting their money. Fintech allows the better management of financial services, but comes with the risk of online predators. However, Big Data allows for a better understanding of consumer spending habits and therefore allows for a quicker detection of unusual behavior. 

Segmenting Consumers

In the financial industry, as in most industries, it is important to segment your consumers. Big Data allows for this to be more easily done because it paints a vivid picture of who the consumer is. You have information on age, gender, race, spending habits, as well as a multitude of other factors. 

Personalizing Offers

An easier segmentation of consumers leads to personalized offers. Each consumer has their own set of demands from their fintech, and Big Data allows for a better understanding of each demand. Personalized services derived from Big Data result in happier customers and more money. 

Managing Risk

Nobody wants to make a bad investment. Big Data can’t completely prevent all bad decisions, but it can help mitigate your chances of going down a risky path. By being able to identify risky investments at early stages and understand risky payers habits, Big Data mitigates your chances of losing money. 

Adaptable to Regulations

Regulations in the financial industry are strict. Keeping up with consumer expectations and demands is challenging. Big Data allows for a more adaptable approach that detects changing consumer preferences and future risks. This way a company can adjust their tactics to comply with changing regulations and mitigate future losses. 

Utilizing Big Data

Fintech is constantly evolving to meet consumer and businesses’ needs. Big Data plays a key role in this evolution as we continue to find new ways to optimize and utilize it. A better, more personalized service is always being pursued with the help of Big Data. 

Meet Harvey: New Puppy In The House

I have been on the quest for a puppy for quite some time now. My beloved chocolate lab died last winter from cancer (miss you Mudge Man), and ever since I have been on the search for a new one. Many failed attempts and two year wait lists left me feeling hopeless. Then I met Harvey.

I had my heart set on a chocolate lab, but this little mutt stole my heart right off the bat. The most impulsive purchase I have made to this day was this little boy. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way though.

The first day I brought him home, I knew he was perfect for me. The way he curled up in my arms and sat at my feet had me falling in love. Here’s how it’s been going since.

House Training A Puppy

Potty training your puppy is the first quest you must endure on your journey of raising a puppy. Sometimes it can feel hopeless, but alas we must hang in there.

The first day wasn’t bad at all. I took him out consistently and the little guy only had three accidents. The second day he had zero. Wow. I thought I had accomplished the whole “house train a puppy in five days” thing. I was very very wrong.

Ever since that second day, he continues to struggle with going to the bathroom outside. We figured out that when any other dogs or cats are outside with him, he gets to distracted and won’t go. Then will come in the house and immediately “piddle on the floor” as my brother would say.

To help him with this, I try to keep him on a leash at all times outside to keep him on track. I live in the middle of no where on a farm, so I typically let my puppies run around free with me without much fear. So until he goes to the bathroom, he isn’t allowed to run around and play with the other animals. This has been working well for me.

Harvey still has accidents from time to time as all young dogs do, but everyday he is getting better! Every time he poddies outside I congratulate him and play for a bit. Positive reinforcement in the form of playing can work wonders sometimes.

Can Puppies Sleep Through The Night?

Harvey is a great example of getting a puppy to sleep through the night. For new dog owners, it often feels impossible to get your puppy to make it till morning without having an accident or wining to play.

I take his water away at 7 pm. I go to bed around 9:30 (Ik Ik super early but you gotta do what you gotta do) so this offers him enough time to have the water go through his system before bed time so that he doesn’t have to pee at 3 am.

I feed him three meals throughout the day that add up to the recommended amount. My 8 pound puppy eats 1/3 a cup of dog food in each meal. We get up at 5 am, so he has breakfast, then lunch around 11 am, and dinner around 3:30 pm.

Harvey makes it to 5 am most mornings without waking up. However he is just a puppy, so on occasion he does still have to pee around 3am but that is not often.

Harvey and I understand your sleep schedule probably doesn’t match ours, as we definitely take naps during the day, but finding a schedule that works for you and your beloved pet can be accomplished so that you both get a good nights rest.

Puppy Tricks

Harv is only seven and a half weeks old, so he has lots of time to continue to learn. He already knows what a treat is though! Grab that bad and he sits right down without even having to give the command.

If you give the command without the treats he still sits too. In this case, I tell him how good of a boy he is and give him lots of pets. Its important to continue to reward him after he does anything right, even if its just with a “good boy.”

Harvey My Boy

Harvey already goes by many names. Harvey, Harvan, Harvard, Harv, Harvey Harv Harv, etc. It didn’t take him long to steal to my heart. Just look at this little man! Feel free to follow his insta (@Harveyourboy).

5 Sustainable Baby Products

Stop and think about how many diapers you throw away a day. Now consider how many products you use for your baby and how many of them are made of plastic. Plastic that can leach harmful chemicals to your baby and to the environment once exposed of. This list of products is adding up.

Living a sustainable life means changing all aspects of your life, even your children’s products. A sustainable baby is a happier and healthier baby. Here’s some baby Eco-friendly products to start your baby off on an Eco-friendly life.

Biodegradable Diapers

Cloth diapers are not the only way to go sustainable with your diaper choice. Biodegradable diapers made from bamboo or other plant-based options are not only good for the environment, but also soft on babies’ sensitive skin. Bamboo diapers, like the ones from Eco Pea, are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested to guarantee their comfort for your children’s sensitive skin.

Bamboo diapers are 100% biodegradable and take about 75 days to decompose.

Want to stick to a brand name you know and trust? Pampers has a line of all-natural, plant-based diapers known as Pampers Pure. They work just as well as their other diapers but in an Eco-friendlier way. Although this a better alternative than regular pampers, they are not completely biodegradable as they still contain polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester.

For this reason, I highly recommend reading the materials list of diapers that claim to be biodegradable. Here’s a list of biodegradable diapers for you.

Biodegradable Baby Wipes

It can take up to 100 years for standard baby wipes to decompose. Whereas bamboo baby wipes, like the ones from Aleva, can biodegrade in as little as 21 days. Plant based baby wipes, like the ones from Mum & You, biodegrade in 15 days even in landfills. These wipes come in 100% recyclable packaging and are soft yet durable.

When searching for sustainable baby wipes, look at the materials used to produce the product to ensure there is zero plastic. Not all wipes are created equal either, look here for a list of pros and cons of some of my favorite biodegradable baby wipes.

Eco-Friendly Baby Bottles

Plastic baby bottles are commonly used without any sort of look into what they are made of. Lots of them contain BPA, which is a chemical used to harden the plastic that can have adverse effects on the brains of children.

Stainless steel baby bottles offer a light weight, non-chemical leaching option for parents. They are a good insulator, meaning they keep the milk warm for your child. These bottles last a long time and are recyclable at the end of their life.

However, stainless steel can dent easily and isn’t see through, so it is difficult to judge how much your baby has drank. They can’t be microwaved and can leach heavy metals such as nickel and chromium. These metals are present in our everyday lives and are only harmful at high levels. Although, you can boil your stainless steel bottle in vinegar multiple times before using it to prevent this leaching from happening since vinegar draws the nickel out.

Look here for some of my favorite stainless steel bottles.

Image From MommyHood101

Glass baby bottles leach no chemicals or heavy metals and are easy to clean. You can see through them to ensure your baby is getting the correct amount of milk and most are microwave safe.

Glass is heavy and easily breakable. You can get a silicone sleeve to go around it to help with durability. Most baby bottle glasses are made with reinforced glass, so they are durable to start with.

Look here for sustainable baby bottle options.

To go with the bottle, consider using natural rubber nipples or silicone ones.

Image From Moose In The Moon

Sustainable Teethers

Wooden teethers are an all-natural, biodegradable, chemical free, durable option. The wood is just soft enough for teething babies but also strong enough not to break off in their mouth. They can be heavy though and are not dishwasher safe.

100% natural rubber teethers are made from a renewable, biodegradable resource. They are gentle on your babies teeth. A very popular natural rubber teether is Sophie la girafe. Other options like Hevea work well too.

A frozen fruit teether can be made at home. Cut up some bananas or mangoes and place them in a mesh feeder for a healthy, gum numbing option.

Washcloth teethers are simple and easy. Wet an organic cotton washcloth and/or place it in the freezer for a minute to give your baby a cheap, yet sustainable teether.

Sustainably Packaged Baby Wash

Zero waste baby wash can be good not only for your baby’s skin, but also the environment. Companies like Ethique sell a multipurpose wash for kids that comes in the form of a bar in completely compostable packaging.

Also look for products with recycle packaging if you are not interested in using a bar, or companies like Puracy which offer refillable containers. Once you’ve used all the wash simply order a refill pouch that saves on plastic, water, and energy.

Image From Ethique

Like this article? Check out Living More Sustainably: 5 Sustainable Toiletries.

Living More Sustainably: 5 Sustainable Toiletries

Have you ever considered how much plastic you use in your everyday morning and nightly routine? Living an Eco-conscious lifestyle means taking a look at all aspects of your life; including in the bathroom. Take a look at these 5 sustainable living products and see how you can make the switch to a more Eco-friendly lifestyle.

Refillable Shampoo/Shampoo bars

Image from spartanlifeblog

Stop and think about how many shampoo and conditioner bottles you have gone through in a lifetime. About 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles are thrown away every year. To stop contributing to this number, consider switching to shampoo bars. Opt for one that doesn’t come in a plastic container (since minimizing our plastic use is the whole point of using the shampoo bar).

Using a bar to wash your hair may be an awkward switch for some people. In that case, consider purchasing reusable shampoos and conditioners. These products come in a metal or glass bottle that can be refilled by going to a store with a refill station, or by use of a refill pouch. Pouches are made BPA-free and with 93% plastic than a plastic bottle. Companies like “The Good Fill,” will have you empty the pouch into your refill container and send it back in the mail for them to clean and refill for the next customer. Making these products have zero-waste packaging.

Look here for different types of sustainable shampoo and conditioner options.

Sustainable Razors

2 billion razors are thrown away each year. Switching to a sustainable razor can seem scary at first due to the learning curve of these types of razors, but there are many options for you to choose from.

Image from beeco

Bamboo Razors are made of bamboo instead of plastic. They have replaceable stainless steel blades that are recyclable. Bambaw razor is a good option that not only looks cool but lasts a lifetime.

Stainless steel razors have high quality and durability. They tend to be more expensive than bamboo razors, but often have higher precision based on the brand. The Merkur Long Handle Safety Razor is a good option for women due to its lightweight and easy to control design. It may take some time getting used to it at first.

Image from beeco

If you are just starting your sustainable razor journey, you should look into the Merkur 34C Safety Razor. With an easy to use sleek design, it is a good place to start.

Look here for more options of sustainable razors to find the perfect fit for you.

Biodegradable Hairbrush & Hair Ties

It is recommended that you change your hairbrush every six months. Not everyone follows this rule of thumb, but the number of hairbrushes being thrown out do add up. Traditional hairbrushes use plastic that takes hundreds of years to decompose. Switching to a biodegradable hairbrush is easy.

Image from DHGate

Wooden hairbrushes without plastic bristles, such as the ones from Life Without Plastic, use sustainably harvested maple wood in a natural rubber base to form the bristles. Zero plastic is used in packaging or creation of the product. Look here for wooden hairbrush options.

Bamboo hairbrushes with bamboo bristles do not produce any static and are made of 100% biodegradable materials. They last for a long time and are gentle on your scalp. These brushes are also proven to distribute your natural oils throughout your hair more evenly to keep your hair looking healthy and shiny. Look here for the best bamboo hair brushes.

Now think about how many hair ties you have lost and/or thrown away. Traditional hair ties are made from synthetic material that is not recyclable and they come in plastic packaging. Biodegradable hair ties are made of organic cotton and natural rubber, so it’s okay if you lose them! These hair ties also last longer than traditional ones, but take a significantly less time to break down. Look here for zero waste hair tie options.

Zero-Waste Toothpaste

Bamboo tooth brushes reduce your plastic use but what about their best mate, toothpaste? 20 billion toothpaste tubes are made a year and end up in our landfills. Considering green packaging for your toothpaste can help mitigate this problem.

Aluminum tubes, like the ones used by Davids, are 100% recyclable and come with a metal key so that you get every last drop. Each tube is lined with a food grade non BPA-cover so that leakage from the aluminum tube is no concern.

Image from Davids
Image from BattleGreenBox

Tooth powder comes in glass jars and have compostable refill packages. Simply wet your toothbrush and dip it in or use a bamboo stick to scoop some out and place on your damp toothbrush. Look here for tooth powder in glass jar options.

Toothpaste tablets also come in glass jars but you can find them in fully compostable bags made from corn starch. Simply place one in your mouth and chew it up before beginning to brush with a damp toothbrush. These are especially nice for when you are on the go or camping.

Look here for various sustainable toothpaste options.

Sustainable Deodorant

Finding a deodorant that works is difficult. Finding one that works in an eco-friendly packaging can feel impossible. No, you don’t have to purchase all natural and vegan deodorants that take time for your body to adjust to in order to be more sustainable with your deodorant choices. These options are better for the environment and if you are interested, look here for the best options. If you want to keep using more mainstream deodorants, look at these companies that are trying to make a step towards sustainable living.

Aerosol deodorant applicants are a step in the right direction. They are 60% tin plated steel and 40% aluminum which are both recyclable components. However, there are still some plastic components in the valve and dip tube. This is a considerably less amount of plastic than used in a normal deodorant packaging though. Here’s a list of some of the best spray deodorants in 2020.

P&G launched an all paper tube edition of Old Spice and Secret deodorants in the U.S. containing invisible solid aluminum-free deodorant. If this packaging works well, they will start switching over all their deodorant products to all-paper packaging. So do your part to help the environment and let these big companies know that you like sustainable packaging.

image from Packaging Insights

Like this article? Go check out my other article on sustainable living to get more ideas!

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Living A Sustainable Life

Sustainable living is becoming increasingly popular as we become more aware of the adverse affects our everyday lives have on the environment. Living more sustainably can not only help our environment, but also your wallet.

Curious on how to make your way to a more sustainable life? Check out these products and options that your wallet and environment will thank you for.

Everyday Ways To Save Money & The Planet

LED Light Bulbs

Switch all your household light bulbs to LED bulbs. They use about 75% less energy than traditional light bulbs and last about 35 times longer. This is because unlike traditional incandescent light bulbs that use a filament that glows and produces heat, LEDs use electrons that flow to create photons (light). Photons generate almost no heat.

The average American home contains about 40 light bulbs. Replacing all of them, assuming they are all incandescent, can save you about $600 a year. This offsets any extra costs acquired by purchasing the slightly more expensive LEDs.

Don’t forget to recycle used bulbs. Part of the bulb can be reused. Although its easy and not against the law to throw out LEDs, always recycle any product you can to help preserve the environment and continue your sustainable lifestyle. Click here to see where to recycle various light bulbs.

Photo from Arcadia Blog

Smart Power Strips

Appliances and devices still consume energy even when not in use. They are referred to as “phantom loads” and add up quickly. Smart power strips are able to identify when a device is in standby mode and cut power to it. This saves you from having to unplug devices or remember to flip the switch on the power cord.

Some Smart Power Strips have a “monitored socket” and several “controlled sockets” that allow you to turn off power to the monitored socket and have the controlled sockets automatically cut off as well. For example, with a TV as the monitored socket and things such as the DVD player and game consoles as the controlled sockets, when the TV is off the strip will automatically have the DVD player and game consoles power turned off as well.

Smart Power Strips can save you up to $200 per year while saving energy.

Insulation and Windows

54% of your overall utility cost comes from heating and cooling your home. Poor insulation results in energy leaks that cost you money. Check your attics, floorboards, walls, and especially windows and doors. Good insulation reduces the cost of heating and cooling by about 40% and pays for itself within 5 to 6 years.

Windows and doors are easy to tell when there’s leakage. Use caulk and weather strips as well as insulated blinds to help prevent energy loss.

Some furnaces run on natural gas, propane, or heating oil and therefore add to the pollution of the earth when these substances are burned. None of these substances are reusable either. Consider switching to a sustainable heating source when looking into your insulation energy loss.

From GreenHomeGnome

Reusable Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles start as oil. Each year the process of bottling water contributes to 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution. About 38 billion plastic water bottles end up in U.S. landfills yearly. It takes about 700 years for these plastics to dissolve.

Plastic water bottles also have negative impacts on your health. Toxins from the plastic leach into your water and many different brands have tested high in levels of microplastics in their water.

Don’t use a plastic reusable bottle either. Toxins can still leach in from them as well. Opt for a glass or metal container.

Don’t trust your water? Here’s a list of reusable water bottles with filters to keep you safe. You should also consider getting a water filter.

Sustainable Toiletries

It takes 400 years to decompose a plastic toothbrush. Like plastic water bottles and all plastic, plastic toothbrushes are made from oil. Every year in North America, over a billion toothbrushes end up in landfills. Electronic toothbrushes use batteries that leak acid into landfills as well. Using a biodegradable toothbrush such as a bamboo toothbrush is a more sustainable option.

Ear swabs are a single use product that lead to the presence of millions of them in oceans and landfills. A reusable ear swab helps mitigate this damage by allowing you to use the same swab over 1,000 times. Just wash with soap and water after each use.

27,000 trees a day get flushed down the toilet in the form of toilet paper. Recycled toilet paper made from newspaper takes less water and energy than making toilet paper from timber. Look here to see which brands are the most Eco-friendly.

Consider Sustainable Energy

Solar

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Solar energy does not directly contribute to pollution and can reduce or eliminate your electricity bill. The installation of solar panels also increases the value of your home making it worth it even if you plan on moving in the future. It also helps you gain control over rising energy costs. The cost of installing solar panels has dropped by 70% in the last decade while the cost of electricity continues to rise.

There are some disadvantages to take into consideration. Not all rooftops work with solar panels. You can use ground panels but may not want those in your yard. Upfront costs of installing solar panels can be intimidating as well. However, the panels will pay themselves off in time and there are solar financing options if you qualify for them.

Video from energysage.com

Wind

Wind energy uses the wind to create power. Wind energy is completely renewable and clean. Operating costs are relatively low and the land used to for the turbines can be used for other purposes as well, like farming. Mini wind turbines are available for individual households.

Disadvantages to wind energy is the visual and noise pollution. They can also be harmful to species that fly into them and are very dependent on the weather.

From Acciona

Hydropower

Hydropower uses water to create electricity. It is a clean and renewable source for energy. Hydroelectric power pairs well with wind and solar power because it is not completely reliant on the weather or time of day. When its night time and the wind has stopped blowing, hydropower can still produce electricity 24/7.

Microhydropower systems are a smaller version available for household use. If you have water flowing through your property, you may want to consider this renewable alternative.

Disadvantages include the adverse effects to the surrounding environment in terms of wildlife displacement and disruption of migration paths. They are also expensive to build up front and rely on weather somewhat in terms of droughts.

From GreenMountainEnergy.com

Geothermal Heating & Cooling

Geothermal systems work by exchanging heat with the ground. They have a long lifespan and require minimal maintenance. The systems have low operating costs and add to your homes value with no equipment in plain sight. Geothermal systems produce 75% to 85% less carbon dioxide emissions than gas and oil produces making them not only a safer alternative, but a more sustainable one.

Traditional heating can result in carbon monoxide leaks. Geothermal systems do not use combustion, and therefore have zero risk of this happening.

Disadvantages include the high upfront costs. These can be mitigated by financial incentives for adopting a renewable energy though.

Another disadvantage is that the systems still use electricity. This is why it is good to pair them with a sustainable energy source listed above.

From Goethermal Energy Options

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Why SEO is Important

You have been working hard to start your blog. Everyday coming up with new pieces to write about that you think people will like to read. Maybe you’ve just started a new business and built what you believe to be the perfect website. Countless hours spent trying to get it right but you are just not seeing the results you desire. What more can you possibly do? It’s time to start looking into SEO.

SEO optimization just happens to be one of the most important things you should consider when putting content out on the internet. It helps you get discovered. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it may make the difference between your business/blog being successful or a dud.

Search engines decide whether or not your content is on the first or last page of Google. You could say they are kind of important. Writing your content with search engines in mind could help your target audience discover you easier.

You can look into using a freelancer like me to help optimize your posts! if you are interested in doing it yourself, here’s a few main points to get you started.

Keyword Optimization

Keywords are words that best describe the content on your page that search engines look for. Google keyword planner is a free and simple to use platform that helps you pick out the best keywords for your post. The planner looks at competition, average monthly searches and suggested bid price in order to allow you to judge whether or not that keyword is right for you.

If you are a beginner site, you should aim to use keywords with low competition. The higher the competition, the less likely you are going to be seen using these keywords. Average monthly searches allows you to see how many times someone has used that word in their search. As you are just starting out, try and aim for lower monthly searches that normally correspond with low competition because you are more likely to place higher on those search pages than ones that have the higher monthly averages. Suggested bid price lets you know what an advertiser would be willing to pay per click to use that keyword.

Google Keyword Planner screenshot for the Keyword SEO
A screenshot of my Google Keyword Planner for the Keyword “SEO”

Don’t go crazy with keywords though. Always write for your audience first and search engines second. “Keyword stuffing” or putting loads of keywords into one post in an attempt to rank high on search pages, will actually have the reverse effect. Search engines are smart enough to identify when you are trying to keyword stuff and will dock you for it.

Place your keywords throughout your post and in the title. Try to use short tailed and long-tailed keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer (about 4 words) and more specific than short-tailed. Try to include a long-tail keyword in the beginning of your title because they lead to higher conversion rates. Keywords should make up 3-5% of your content.

Check out this post I wrote for a different blog about keyword optimization for a more step by step process.

Building Relationships

Search engines like to see that your information is reliable and link worthy. Link to external content when helpful. Reach out to the people you link to and let them know, maybe they will link to you in the future. Link to other helpful blog posts on your site. This is preferred because it keeps people viewing your material. It also helps search engines see that you are building topic relevance on your site. Making you a bit more trustworthy to them.

Quote experts in your article. Reach out to them and ask for their opinion on certain topics. Let them know when your post is going live. Link to their site. There is a good chance they will link back since they have been quoted in your site. They may even ask you for your opinion in the future. Relationships help lead to links to your page that help search engines determine that your work is trustworthy and relevant.

The Little Stuff

URL

Keep it short and sweet. Avoid the use of numbers as these make it hard for people to find you. Try adding in some short-tailed keywords as well.

Image Alt Text

Most people don’t think about doing this, but it can be very helpful with search engines. Unlike humans, search engines can’t actually see the images and therefore need the alt text to describe to them what they are. Try using keywords in your alt text when appropriate.

Meta Description

The meta description is the small paragraph used to summarize your content that appears below the title when your audience searches for your page. It is usually around 150-160 characters. Be short and concise while incorporating keywords as best as possible. This small step can determine whether someone chooses your page over another.

Structure of Blog Post

A simple way to improve your google ranking is to format your blog post correctly. Make your introduction captivating. Use humor or an interesting fact, but make sure you explain how your post addresses the readers problem. You should write your introduction last, that way you know what is in your post and what the reader should expect.

Consider a list formula or how to formula. These short of structures catch people’s eye and are easy to read.

White space is your friend. Don’t write huge paragraphs that give headaches. No one wants to read a post that is one big paragraph. Make lots of easy to read paragraphs that are pleasing to the eye. Break up your work with sub headers, bullets, and numbered lists. Use and H2 tag or smaller for sub headers.

Bold text that is important. Don’t go overboard with this, but make it easy for someone to skim your website and be able to pick out the main points.

Use visual aids and multimedia when possible. Videos, social media, and images help keep the reader engaged and make your post more interesting. They can also help to explain things better than words can do alone.

The ideal length of a blog post is about 2,100 words. More or less is okay, but shoot for this amount. Don’t forget about how your post will look on a mobile platform as well. Not all your viewers will be on a laptop.

Keep all these tips in mind and you’ll be an SEO expert in no time.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Like this post? Check out my post about Top 5 Money Moves For College Graduates.

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Top 5 Money Moves For College Graduates

You’ve put in the long hours, countless cups of coffee, hundreds of assignments, and sleepless nights to earn that degree. Now what?

You want to start you financial life off right, but aren’t quite sure how to? No problem. Here is a list of the best 5 money moves you can make as a college graduate to become financially stable and plan for the future.

Whether you are reading this unemployed on your mom’s couch or working your dream job living on your own, these tips will help you reach your financial goals.

1. You Have To Start Somewhere

You go to college and come out thinking you’ll be able to get the perfect job in your field of study right away. Many people hold out for this job and end up wasting precious time. Remember, it’s not against the rules to look for a new job while you already have one. The key to starting a financially stable life off right is to start accruing income as soon as possible.

This is not to say that you should just take any job though. Try to find one that relates to your field, even if it is lower on the totem pole than you would like to be. CNBC found that “more than 40 percent of college graduates take positions out of school that don’t require a degree,” and “more than 1 in 5 college grads still aren’t working a degree-demanding job a decade after leaving school.”

Finding a job related to your field of study is important for the future, but don’t hold out for one that perfectly matches your ideal job right off the bat. You have to start somewhere and work your way up to what you want.

2. Think About Retirement

But it’s so far away? Yes, but every little bit now contributes to a larger payout later on. Don’t forget that compound interest is your best friend. Adding to your 401k now allows for more money to be accrued, leading to you living your best retirement life.

Don’t forget about the employer’s match! Max it out if you are able, but make sure you aren’t putting so much away that you can’t get by now. It’s all about balance. Somewhere between 10-12% of your salary is perfect for young adults like you.

Not quite sure how a 401k works? Don’t be ashamed, you are just starting out. The 401k help center does a good job of explaining to you how it works and what exactly it is.

If that doesn’t sound like it will work for you, there are other ways to save for retirement. Although a 401k is probably the best way, U.S.News has an article explaining other ways you can save.

3. Open an Emergency Fund

Speaking of putting away money for later, an emergency fund can be very helpful. You’re already saving for retirement, now I’m telling you to put more money away for an emergency? Yes.

You should open a high-yield savings account with an automatic recurring transfer from your checking account. Look at your bills and try to aim to have about 3 months worth of expenses in your account. Of course, this may not be feasible for everyone, so maybe even shoot for just a couple hundred dollars.

Schedule your automatic transfers for payday. You don’t want to be tempted to spend the money elsewhere. If you are having trouble calculating how much money you should set aside each pay period, try using the Emergency Fund Calculator.

4. Establish Credit

Credit can seem scary or even pointless to some, but it is all in how you go about it. If you want to buy a house down the line or even a nice car, you need to start establishing credit now. Having a credit card and using it wisely helps you build your credit history and maintain a healthy credit score.

How do you use a credit card wisely? Easy, treat it as a debit card. Only spend what you can pay. Paying off your credit card monthly in full will prevent you from overspending and getting into credit card debt.

You can even transfer money from your checking into your credit card on a periodic basis to ensure that you don’t overspend.

Still worried about how to wisely use your card? Take a look at Capital One and their tips on how to safely build credit.

5. Pay Attention To Your Student Loans

You know you have them, but do you know about all the repayment terms and options? Take a look at your loans and see what will work best for you.

Did you know you can refinance your student loans? Doing so can save you in interest and therefore, money. It can also help lower monthly payments and help you pay it off faster. Nerdwallet lays out the steps on how to refinance to help you determine if it is right for you.

Did you also know that you can choose your monthly payment plans or even pause them? Seriously taking time to look over your loan and understand how it works can save you thousands of dollars and prevent you from making late payments that will effect your credit score.

Student loans have an impact on your finances for possibly a decade or more. It’s important to pay attention to how you can save money while paying them back.

Why Hire a Freelancer Like Me?

Who am I?

Who am I? Wouldn’t you like to know? Besides the freelance writing, what is it I like to do? Where am I from? What’s up with this site? What should you expect?

All very great questions you pose. I’ll do my best to answer them. Of course, you can always check out my About page. If you still have questions after that, go ahead and check out the Contact page!

I’m just your ordinary amazing human being. I love the outdoors, catching sunsets, and hanging out with my dogs and cows. (I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m from New York and I own some pretty cool cows, but don’t use that to stereotype me. It just means I’m used to long hours and hard work.)

I became interested in freelance writing while I was doing what all college graduates are doing right now; searching for any sort of job. I quickly realized getting a freelance writer gig was perfect for me. I went to Siena College for Digital Marketing and Finance with a Minor in Writing. Writing content for other people allows me to combine my major with my minor to perfectly SEO optimize your content while making it interesting to read.

Wait, What’s SEO?

SEO marketing image
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Huh? What’s SEO? Oh, my bad. It stands for Search Engine Optimization. The kind of stuff that gets your content seen on google. Yeah, it’s pretty important to me and I bet it is to you as well.

So now that we have that figured out, I guess I should tell you what’s up with this site. Here I will post sample content on a variety of different topics for you to browse through and enjoy. Each post will be SEO optimized (yes even this one is, did you notice yet?). A variety of topics that I find intriguing will be posted regularly to educate and maybe inspire you to work with me.

I’m just out here trying to help you gain views on your site. You got a topic you want to write about but haven’t quite figured out how to yet? Let me do it for you. Freelance journalism is kind of my thing. If it’s not yours don’t worry! It’s what I’m here for. Go ahead and reach out to me!

After all, I got this. Do you?

-Lila Nolan, your freelance writer.