(StatePoint) As we age, we sometimes regret those life lessons that might have served us better when we were younger. If you could roll back the years, what would you tell your younger self about money?
Hill Harper, star of ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” is on a mission to help consumers of all ages take charge of their credit scores and financial futures.
Author of The New York Times Best Seller, “The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in its Place,” he is dedicated to teaching financial inclusion and literacy.
Knowing what he knows now, Harper talked about the top financial lessons he would teach his younger self.
• Create a Blueprint for Wealth: If you have enough money to meet your basic needs -- ask yourself, “what else do I need to be happy?” Prioritize and plan.
“You need to be the architect of your life and create a blueprint for true wealth,” he adds.
• Understand the Importance of Credit Scores: Many people don’t understand money’s impact on their future, for example, a high score can mean access to better financial loan products and the best rates on those loans, while a low score can cost you money with higher interest rates, or limit your ability to secure loans, sign leases or even land jobs.
“People often overlook the impact credit has on their opportunities. I’m aiming to encourage people to proactively manage their credit, and use it to manifest their destinies,” says Harper.
• Take Small Steps: You can increase your credit score by taking several steps, such as establishing a track record of paying bills on time, paying down debt and using financial tools that can possibly impact your score immediately, like Experian Boost. Also, Harper stresses you should keep your usage of credit low, and only make purchases you can afford.
“Everyone deserves a fair shot at achieving their financial dreams, and access to capital is a part of that, but it should be done wisely,” says Harper. “Understanding how your credit score is calculated and what you can do to maintain it will position you for financial success.”
• Be Truly Wealthy: Harper believes that money is simply a resource that helps people build the lives and communities they want, and that true “wealth” means being healthy, happy and having a positive relationship with money.
“Some of the most important financial concepts for young people to understand are the power of savings, the time value of money, and compounded interest. If you start saving just a little bit early on, compound interest will work on your behalf. It can transform your life and the financial wellbeing of your family,” says Harper.