One of the most sure-fire ways to guarantee wealth and security is to pay attention to your personal finance situation. The more you know about personal finance the more money you will save. You’ll also make better financial decisions in general. I recently came across a great resource that lists the best personal finance blogs of 2016. Here’s the link to the article. The list was actually voted on by readers, so the top site, Cash Cow Couple, is a site that a lot of readers recommend. There are many other sites on the list that are worth checking out too like Dough Roller and Mr. Money Mustache. All of the sites on the list are great for inspiring you to manage your money better.
With the new year approaching, what better way to kick things off then by getting back to financial basics. The basics are easy to let slip and lose control of if you’re not mindful of them. In order to get back to stable financial ground in the new year, check out the following items and see how you’re stacking up.
Kick things off on the right foot by setting up a financial calendar. Set reminders for monthly payments, pulling credit reports, and any other money to-do’s that too often fall through the cracks. Setting reminders keeps your finances in check and gives you the opportunity to look at the year ahead of you. There’s nothing better than being prepared!
Tracking Net Worth
Periodically, it’s a good idea to check in on your overall net worth. Keeping an eye on your net worth is the best indicator of your financial footing. It also will put into perspective your debt versus your assets. If you owe more money than you’d like, tracking your net worth will help you see progress towards your goals in either direction.
Reevaluating and creating new goals is an excellent way to get back to the basics. Financial goals, big and small, are great ways to get you where you want to be. Identify what you need to accomplish and plan how to attain it. Solidifying goals will give you something to work towards.
Becoming Money Savvy
Finally, take the time to become money savvy overall. You can do this by practicing smart spending, learning new ways to save, and staying on top of finance trends. You can also work on sticking to a budget in order to keep your finances in tip-top shape! No matter what you do, work on improving the way you think and interact with your finances.
It’s never too early to start learning about personal finance. Once out on their own, young adults will be forever managing their own money and trying to make the best choices they can. Unfortunately, most high schools don’t provide money management classes and only finance majors in college will learn the ins and outs of personal finance before graduation. In order to bridge that gap, here are a few tips to get started!
The absolute best thing you can do for yourself is start saving early and often. Set up a retirement fund and a separate saving account to house an emergency fund. No matter how well you manage your money, there will always be unexpected costs. If you don’t prepare a safety net, it can be devastating. As for a retirement account, you have time on your side. The early you start, the more money you’ll end up with. It will be extremely gratifying to be financially independent come retirement because of the smart choices you started making in your 20’s.
Set Clear Goals
Distinguish clear goals for yourself. Goals of all types. Short term goals will give excite you and keep you motivated, while long-term goals will be super rewarding. No matter what expectations and goals you set for yourself, make sure they are realistic. There’s nothing more defeating than setting the bar too high and missing.
Money is an easy thing to waste. There are plenty of things to buy, places to go, and experiences to have. All of these things cost money, but luckily you don’t need them all. Practicing self-control will leave you with more money to save, invest, or use towards a planned purchase. There is nothing wrong with spending money on yourself or others, but you need to be smart about it. It’s easy to get carried away and even cut yourself short for necessary expenses.
Pay Attention to Your Money
Keep a careful watch on your bank statements and the amount of money coming and going. Setting up a budget is a great way to keep track of your money and know exactly where it’s going. In keeping track of your cash, you’ll begin to see patterns and know where you can trim the fat. This is especially helpful in anticipation of large purchases. If you want to go away on vacation, it would be helpful to know what areas of your budget are more flexible. Then, with that knowledge, you can move money around to have a wonderful, stress-free vacation.
Build Credit Responsibly
Credit is an essential thing to build if you ever want to buy a house, a car, or take out a business loan. Without established credit, all of life’s big milestones become a little more complicated. If you have poor or nonexistent credit, your interest rates skyrocket, you have to place a much larger down payment, or you don’t get approved at all. You can avoid that by applying for a credit card and using it as a gas card or to pay pills. If you decide to go this route, be extremely careful. Credit can be a slippery slope and credit card debt will make achieving your financial goals much harder.