We tell ourselves we want to have money for retirement, our kid’s college tuition, buy a house, etc. However, there always seem to be other things more important than future purchases, like paying this month’s rent and putting food on the table. So, what is it that is keeping us from getting the most out of our money? Get started on a new path with these simple goals!
Goal: Set up a budget and stick with it for the next week, analyze your results
There is no truth to the saying that you can only spend what you make. Everyone knows that there are various ways to spend way more than you make and get away with it, at least for a little while. This one is for those of us who secretly use credit cards to pay our other credit cards off – not a bad choice if the APR is lower, or if you can get a 0% APR for long enough to pay off your debt. But, that still does not keep you from spending more than your means allow.
Time to come up with a plan to spend less than you make, or if you are in too deep, come up with a plan to pay off your debt with one larger loan, such as an installment loan and spread the payments out as far as you can. Yes, a longer-term loan does mean that you pay more for the loan in the long run, but the goal here is to get into the good habit of planning a budget that allows you to live within your means. Choking yourself financially with a big loan payment will only have you plunging back into the debt pool. Keep your monthly debts as low as you can, and do not create any more new debts moving forward until your loan is paid in full.
Goal: start putting 10% of your income in your work’s 401k or start an IRA
Retirement is your future self’s problem. When you start planning early, retirement will truly be a golden age. Plus, if you put some money away and you have an emergency, you will have that money that you can use. Instead of borrowing from a lender, you can borrow from yourself. It’s not quite the same burden to pay yourself back as it is to pay back an institution
Goal: Learn a new skill in the next 30 days that makes you more valuable in your profession
I’m not getting paid enough to (insert financial goal here). Why aren’t you running the company by now? Whatever the reason, work on your personal brand, make yourself indispensable. Think you can’t be indispensable in a low pay job? You’re wrong! There are always people that, no matter what level of work they are doing that have taken the time, care, and pride to make themselves a standout in their position. You can be the unique person you are and the best person at what you do!
Improving your finances when there is too much month, too much bad luck, and plain ole not enough money is not easy; it’s hard work, but it can be done.