Are your finances a mess? If so, you’re not alone. The economy is soaring yet many Americans are still struggling. Becoming financially literate takes an immense amount of work. Having a good job isn’t enough. It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you consistently spend too much.
The wealthy need to use financial advisers. Managing huge fortunes is a full-time job. If you’re not fabulously wealthy, however, it makes more sense to take control of your financial future on your own.
Ready? Here’s what you need to do.
Debt is alluring. You can have almost any consumer item that you can dream of by putting down a fraction of the cost. A new car, a fancy watch, a brand-new TV. You can finance these items if you can’t afford to pay for them upfront. In some cases, it may make sense. Many people feel that a car loan is feasible. Having reliable transportation can affect your ability to work.
However, most debt should be avoided. Instead of making a payment plan for your headphones, for example, try to save money. By financing, you’ll end up paying a lot more overall.
Increase Your Earnings
You can’t save money if you’re not making any to begin with. It’s possible that you need to increase your earnings in order to be really secure. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. The gig economy has exploded. If angling for more hours or better pay at work isn’t an option, see if you can leverage your skills in the gig economy. You can drive for a rideshare company, sell your art online, teach English, anything that you can come up with. $50 a week could make a big difference.
Hire a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer can help you make sense of your finances, especially if you’re planning your will or if you need to seek damages from someone else. Fighting your own court battles is tough and may even result in a lower settlement. According to the Hand law office in Denver: “In many personal injury cases, there are medical expenses that the injured person will need to pay back out of settlement funds. Aggressive legal work and negotiation can often reduce these amounts, leaving more money in your pocket.”
Learn How to Cook
Eating out can be a large drain on your finances, regardless of how much you make. You can potentially save a lot of money if you learn how to cook at home. You don’t have to deprive yourself. Watch a few YouTube videos and you can learn how to cook a delicious meal. Follow the directions step-by-step until you feel as though you have a good handle on the recipe.
Meal delivery services can be cheaper than going out to a restaurant. The company sends the ingredients and the recipe and you have to whip it up.
If you have extra money, it doesn’t make sense to let it sit there idly. You can make your money work for you if you invest it. Of course, investing comes with a risk. You may lose the money you put up. This won’t be enjoyable, but if you’re smart it won’t ruin you either. Only invest money that you can afford to lose. You can manage your own investments without hiring anyone.
Working isn’t going to become more fun as you get older. There will likely come a point when you want to step away from the rat race. At that moment, your comfort level will largely depend on how much money you have socked away.
Ideally, you’ll start saving for retirement as soon as you can. Max out your 401k contribution, especially if your company offers to match it.
Figure out exactly how much money you’re bringing in every month and how much your bills are. If there’s any excess, you can decide what to do with it. Set some money aside for entertainment, some for investing, etc. Following a strict budget can help you meet your financial goals. If you need help, try separating your money into envelopes. When your “entertainment” envelope for the week or month is empty, you don’t have any more to spend. It doesn’t matter how much your other envelopes contain.
Thinking about money is never fun. However, your life will be easier if your finances are in good shape. You won’t have to be stressed about bills.