Saving money can provide you with fewer sleepless nights and here are some tips to do so.
1. Learning Self-Control
There are some people who were lucky and taught this by their parents. If you were not one of them, keep in mind that delayed gratification is very important, and can be very helpful for your financial health. It is easy to get an item you want using a credit card, but the better option is saving up money until you can afford the purchase. There is no reason to pay interest on a box of cereal or a pair of jeans. The better option when making your purchases is a debit card because the money is going to come from your checking account which you don’t pay any interest on.
If you are the type of person to put purchases on credit cards even though you cannot pay for them at the end of the month, then you might still be paying for the items 10 years from now. Credit can be great when you pay them off on time because it is going to help build your credit rating. They also offer you appealing rewards. When you get the bill at the end of the month, make sure you have cleared all your balances. You shouldn’t have too many credit cards. Just keep a number you can easily track. This tip important because it will help you create a healthy credit history.
2. Controlling Your Financial Future
You should be the one in the driving seat when it comes to your finances or someone else is going to do it for you. Some people will not have your best interest at heart, such as financial planners after commissions. There are some who have good intentions like your favorite uncle, but they might not really know enough about finances to give you sound advice. It is important to take control of your finances yourself because you know yourself best.
You should not rely on other people for financial advice, invest in learning. Get personal finance books and ready for yourself. Having the knowledge is going to help you avoid getting off guard – whether it is friends who want to go out with your every weekend to blow tons of money or your partner who slowly siphons your bank account.
3. Knowing Where Your Money Goes
Once you have read a couple of personal finance books, you will realize an important aspect of good finances is spending less than what you are earning. One way you can make sure you avoid spending more than you earn is by having a budget. Buying coffee doesn’t seem much, but calculating how much you spend every month is going to surprise you. Making small changes might not seem to do much, but it is going to have a lot of impact on your finances. You will start spending less and saving more.
Have a closer look at your recurring monthly expenses because they take a huge chunk of your income. Try to keep them as low as possible because it is going to save you a lot in the long term. Even though you can easily afford an apartment packed with many amenities, choosing a plainer apartment could help you afford a house or condo of your own sooner than you otherwise would.
You need to understand how money works because that is the first step to take if you want money to work for you.
4. Starting an Emergency Fund
A common mantra in personal finance is “always pay yourself first”. No matter how much you have in student loan debt, credit card debt, or how small your salary is, you should always set aside any amount in your budget and put it in an emergency fund every month.
You can sleep better at night and avoid financial trouble by having money in savings that you can use for emergencies. Make it a habit to save money and treat it as a non-negotiable monthly expense, and you will save up for your emergency account in a short time. You are going to have vacation money, retirement money, or even a down payment for your home.
Putting your cash in a standard savings account seems like the obvious choice, but there is almost no interest. You should put your money in a short-term certificate of deposit, online savings account, or a money market account.
Inflation is going to erode the value of your savings if you put it in a standard savings account. It is important to ensure the option you choose allows you to get your cash in case of an emergency. If you have a financial emergency and haven’t built up your emergency fund yet you can get payday loans without a credit check.
5. Saving for Retirement
Your parents invested a lot in your future when you joined kindergarten because they were preparing you for success even though it still seemed eons away. It is a good idea to do this for yourself by planning your retirement. Compound interest works well, and the sooner you start, the less principal you need to get to the amount you wish to have when you retire.
Why should you start saving early? Let’s say you choose to invest in the market by putting $100 every month that gives a 1% return a month or 12% per year compounding every month for 40 years. You have someone else who starts 30 years later and saves $1,000 every month for 10 years with the same interest rate. After 10 years, the other person would have around $230,000. Your retirement account is going to have $1.17 million.
Consider company-sponsored retirement plans because companies tend to match your contribution and you get to put it in pretax dollars. Matching is good because it is like getting free money. 401(k)s tend to have a higher contribution limit compared to IRAs (individual retirement accounts). If there is a plan sponsored by your employer, join it because it helps you get closer to your financial goals.
Don’t stress if you don’t have a company plan. There are a number of options available to self-employed people. One option is opening your own IRAs, then set an amount to be withdrawn every month from your savings account to the IRA. It might not seem like much, but it is going to add up pretty fast.