Everyone always thinks about money, whether consciously or subconsciously. It is consuming in and of itself, as people from all walks of life are constantly trying to find ways to improve their financial standing. There are many good practices out there that people can utilize to ensure a healthy financial portfolio into one that will continue to grow. This article will examine 7 different areas and strategies people can implement or look into to make a better future financially for themselves and their families.
1. Know your monthly income
The first important piece of money knowledge will guide every decision you make. How much money is coming in every month? Not your gross income, but your net income, or another way of saying it is available income. This money that you can physically hold or see in your bank account is what you build your budget with. Any and every expense that will take away from this income will be your next focus.
2. What are your expenses?
There are unavoidable expenses such as utilities and taxes that will be taken out monthly from now until forever; it seems like. When you are building your budget, put down these non-negotiable expenses down first because no matter the circumstances, you know that these expenses are coming out of your budget each month.
After that, you can then focus on things you want to purchase or like to have, such as cable television, home internet, new vehicles, etc. Obviously, at the end of each month, your expenses cannot outweigh your income. What is coming in, and what is going out? These are the first two important factors to know.
3. Unexpected expenses?
What happens when unexpected expenses fall in your lap? These things certainly will happen; it is just a part of life. A good rule of thumb to live by is to set aside 20 percent of that monthly income to devote to savings and an emergency fund. If an appliance goes out or quits running, your car has a blowout or breaks down. These things need immediate responses, and if you are making the right moves each month with your money, they will not sneak up on you and cause unwanted stress.
The best way to do this is never to see that money that goes into a savings account or other investment account; in other words, forget you ever had it until you need it.
4. Shop your rates
We talked about expenses earlier, but there are other ways to cut down on expenses and save you some of the precious monthly income you work so hard to earn. Shop and compare all of your insurance rates with any and every company out there that will offer you coverage. Some companies will offer bundles which means most if not all of your insurance policies will be bundled into one easy payment each month.
Car insurance, for example, can be shopped and changed very easily. Premiums are divided into six-month periods so shopping around and getting new quotes is worth your time to see if you can save money there.
5. Spend your allowance
Remember when you were a kid, and you were given an allowance of money that you could spend? If it seems childish, it might be, but it is also a very simple, effective way to stay within your income. Work out an allowance monthly that you feel comfortable spending and then plan out what you want to spend that money on. This won’t be easy at first, but it will become a very sound habit financially to practice.
6. Stay away from high-interest debt
Credit cards, payday loans, revolving debt that accumulates high interest are something to steer clear of. People get caught up in the moment and think purchasing things on their credit card is a good idea, but the fact is the high-interest rates of credit cards will consumer your income unless you can pay it off quickly. This can lead to other loans and even payday loans which will draw you into a quicksand of debt. If you cannot afford it when you want it, wait to buy it until you can afford it.
7. Set yourself up for the future
Once you have set up practice these good habits, it will be time to look into the future. Future weddings, college tuition, family vacations are all things we want to pay for and provide for our families. With proper savings and investing, you will be in a good position to do those things.
Talk with financial advisers about where to invest money, and be diligent in your investing. Over time these investments will work for you, and those financial goals will be attainable because of your hard work.
Making good decisions with your money seems very simple and even like common sense. Impulsive buying and wanting things that you can not afford, though, are issues that create problems for people financially. If you practice these 7 steps with your finances, you will see the positive reward, and that is a healthy financial portfolio that allows you to meet all your goals and dreams.