Sure, everyone has their own opinions and surely I am no expert, but there are some money moves that need to be of note so you can avoid any mistakes before it is too late and you have spent every dollar and saved nothing for the future. The goal is to be able to live life to its fullest without worrying about every dollar spent instead of saved, but there are definitely smart ways to spend your money. Before you continue on your destructive financial path, keep in mind a few smart monies move you can start making now.
Stop Delaying and Contribute to Retirement
Enough is enough already. Stop putting it off. Sure, it may be decades down the road that you are going to retire but you will not believe how fast it goes. How long have you been at your current job now? Does it still feel like you just started? If coughing up a few extra dollars a paycheck is tough to do right now, if your company offers matching 401(k) contributions at do that much to start, because if you don’t, you are just leaving free money on the table that could compound to huge losses by retirement age.
Figure Out Your Goals
I’m sure there are plenty of short and long-term goals when it comes to your financial situation, but do you even know what they are? It is time to take a good look where you stand, where you’d like to be, and if you have a family, getting your significant other involved will help lay everything out on the table and figure out the realistic goals that you strive to meet when it comes to not only saving for your future, but where your funds are currently allocated.
Start Using Cash Instead of Credit or Debit
As easy as purchases are to make these days by swiping a card in person, or one-click buying online with practically any item at your fingertips, it can be tough to hold back on spending. Instead of putting on the plastic, try using that old currency you probably haven’t seen in a while, which is cash. If you have a set amount you can spend in a month, you can stick to only what you have, and when it comes to purchases, maybe seeing the money leave your hand will be enough to give a second thought to impulse purchases.
Hold a Successful Budget
If you currently do not have a budget, you are not alone, in fact it’s been said that two-thirds of the American population do not have a budget, which means it’s a scary spending free for all for most of the households. This is where you should step out of the box and be the minority and hold down a successful budget by keeping track of every dollar that comes in and out, and try to reduce spending by allocating certain amounts for bills, food, gas, and spending.
Pay Off Debt
If you have any debt currently, paying off should be high priority so you can clear that from your name and avoid paying high-interest in return. As you stick to a budget and reduce spending, it should hopefully not only free up extra money to pay down (and hopefully payoff) your debt, it will keep you from sinking further by putting it on a credit card to pay later when you don’t have the money now.
Avoid the Unnecessary Purchases
Not spending any money is virtually impossible, and quite frankly not any fun, but there’s a difference between necessary purchases such as food, gas, items around the house, clothes, and those that would be the fine line of unnecessary purchases such as impulse purchases, going overboard on electronics, or shopping for new outfits you will only wear once. If it helps, try looking back at last month’s statement and add up all of the charges that could/should have been avoided and see what that total comes to. The amount could surprise and depress you.
Go at Your Own Pace
There is no “correct’ age when it comes to getting married, buying a house, having children, but more so that you should be financially ready first before you take those next steps in life, otherwise you could be digging yourself further into debt. Fix your personal finance first, and then by using the smart money moves you can hopefully then be in a position to move to the next step in your life.