From a spending strategy to a saving strategy, you know it takes a lot to be a financially secure person! As you get older, you realize that personal wealth and security are things that you need, but how can you get there from where you are right now? You may have debt, you may have payments to make, and you may have no idea what you should be doing.
Take a moment to consider the 10 things you must have if you are going to get your finances in shape!
So how do you spend your money? What are you willing to spend your money on, and what luxuries can you do without? A spending strategy informs what you get when you go shopping, whether it is for clothes, food, furniture or fun. Having a strategy in mind prevents you from making impulse decisions that you later regret.
A budget is a list of your expenses compared to your income. Your budget tells you how much money you need to make minimum, and it also tells you how much money you can spend on assorted items. If you want to be financially solvent, you need a budget.
No matter how bad or good it is, know what your credit rating is. A credit rating determines your access to loans (both personal and business loans), and in many cases, it determines where you can live. Be aware of it, and do your best to improve it. When you want to improve your credit rating, consider talking to your bank to see what you can do.
An emergency fund ensures that a single incidence of bad luck cannot turn your life upside down. An emergency fund can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to an amount that allows you to live frugally for several months.
What would you do if today, your main source of income dried up? Financial stability is something that feels very solid until it isnt. Do you know what jobs you could find and where you might look? A backup plan is a good thing to have.
What are you going to do about retirement? Some people anticipate working long past retirement age, but you will find that putting a little aside every year makes a big difference. A 401(k) plan with your company is one way to do it, as are personal IRAs.
So you already know how you are going to spend money. How are you going to save it? Theres more to savings that opening a savings account, and you will find that the more concrete your savings plans are, the more you are going to be able to save in the long run. Decide how much you want to put away every month and stick with it.
Are you on top of the money coming in to and out of your account? Not only will tracking your money use prevent you from having an overdrawn account, you will find that it can help you detect spending patterns and teach you how to save.
What are you saving for? Choose a goal that you can work towards, whether it is a house, a car, retirement or something else. Having a goal in mind makes saving a lot easier.
Finally, you must be motivated! A good financial situation takes work, and you will find that keeping your goals in front of you and your finances under control will help. Be motivated about the safe place you are making for yourself and the dreams that you are building!
THE BOTTOM LINE
Start thinking about your finances as a project you can tackle. Start by eliminating debt and irresponsible spending habits, then build an emergency fund, then start saving for your goals. It’s easier when you break it down.