5 Top Finance Tips No Matter Your Age
Whether you are in college or even about to retire, there are a few things that you should be doing to make sure you are financially safe and secure. The following pointers are things that can be done by anyone who wants to make sure that they have control of their finances, both in the present and looking towards the future.
A financial calendar
The financial calendar is an important way to make sure that you know what needs to be paid, and when it needs to be paid. This cuts out any really nasty surprises, like forgetting when your taxes are due or any other significant milestones. Think about your finances the same way you would schedule a doctor’s checkup or service for your car. Make sure anything important is on the list, and mark it in the financial diary. You can download an example here. http://www.myfrugalhome.com/printables/bill-pay-checklist.pdf?af2150
Setting a budget
While this may sound simple and like common sense, setting a budget is something that many people simply do not do. A budget can help you get off the treadmill of living from one pay check to the next and hoping there will be enough to pay your bills. Making sure that you know how much money is coming in versus how much needs to go out for your expenses, is essential. Calculate all of your expenses including rent or mortgage, transportation, food, and any other things you may need to spend money on, like healthcare, or even luxuries and entertainment. Use this form to get started: https://www.consumer.gov/sites/default/files/pdf-1020-make-budget-worksheet_form.pdf
Set short-term and long-term monetary goals
Setting attainable goals means you can achieve the big stuff. Many athletes mention similar things in their tales of conquering seemingly insurmountable odds. Bite-size pieces add up to the big stuff. Saving for example $1000 is easier than $100,000. However, if you were able to save $1000 a hundred times, you would have a $100,000 set aside.
Learn to cherish the moment
Being happy with what you have now, in the present, is an important lesson. This is not to say you shouldn’t strive for better or bigger in your life. However, taking the time to smell the roses and enjoy what you have, rather than putting yourself in debt to gain something you believe will make you happy, is a better way to go than living with fear of having it taken away because you cannot afford the payments or interest on a loan.
Do not put yourself at risk
Evaluate your financial position and future needs. Risky investments might offer a higher potential return, but they always carry more uncertainty. “Don’t gamble with the rent money,” says David Lerner Associates Executive Vice President Martin Lerner. “Our philosophy has always been the sensible middle ground of investing.”
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