Let’s face it. We learned about a lot of things in school but most of them were not practical things.
It is not at all uncommon to reach your early twenties and abruptly realize that you have no idea how to handle your money.
If you are like so many of us and feel totally lost about how to save and invest your money, don’t fret!
There are some simple things that you can do to get your finances in order and make your money work for you!
Before you start working on any of our five tips, you need to first consider your finances with an objective eye.
Be critical of yourself.
If you think that your habits are leading to spending on things that you cannot afford or if you are being a bit lazy about looking into your best options for financial security, make sure that you examine those habits closely and modify them.
You cannot succeed if you are not willing to assess your finances honestly.
1.The first and most effective way to make your money work for your is to make a budget for yourself
This does not mean simply counting up what you owe in bills each month and then hoping that you have enough left to cover those expenses when the bills come due.
A good budget will consider things like money for an emergency fund for unexpected expenses and will also chart out your average spending on necessities compared to things like eating out or buying new shoes.
Once you know what you are actually spending each month, you will be able to see areas that you can cut back to make room for saving money.
2. If you must use a credit card for bills or other expenses, make sure that you pay it off!
Many people dig themselves into a bigger and bigger hole each month by paying step interest charges on credit cards that they are using to buy items that they may not even need.
If you only pay the minimums on your credit cards you will quickly find that you are never going to get ahead of the debt you owe on that card.
If you have found that you cannot pay back your credit card debt, make sure that you consider your consolidation options and reach out to a financial advisor to help you get your credit card debt under control.
3. Invest money when you can
It is a reality that many of us will not be able to live on the money that will be provided to us through social security after we retire.
If you do not have a 401k or other company-funded retirement plan in place, this is particularly true for you.
There are many different ways to invest money for use when you retire and they often do not require as much cash to get started as you might think.
Reach out to a financial advisor to find out what your options are.
4. Set goals for your money
If you want to save up for a vacation, set that goal and stick to your plans each month related to it.
If you are working on getting enough money together to invest for your retirement, make sure that you set this as a goal and that you put money aside toward that goal each month.
You will be surprised as how easy it is to assign money to things and not spend it elsewhere when you have set a goal for that money.
A lot of financial success is based on making sure that you are open to change, that you stick to a budget and that you are honest with yourself about your spending and your goals.
Set yourself up for success through the use of these five tips and you will have started down the road to a worry-free future!