It’s so easy to go through life, spending as you please. Oblivious to the fact, you’re just one disaster away from financial ruin. Start planning now. Here are some tips:
- Find a financial advisor to get you on track. Many don’t charge a fee for consultations. It can’t hurt to sit down with a professional and lay it all out on the table for them.
- Open a 401(k) at your company and contribute up to the company match.
- Open a Roth IRA and save, at minimum, 10% of your income.
- Do you have consumer debt (credit/car loans)? Start chipping away at the one with the highest interest rate.
- Open a high interest savings account or Money Market and start direct depositing money into it monthly. You can start out small and gradually increase it.
- When you receive a bonus or raise, immediately transfer it into your savings account. Out of sight, out of mind. The same goes for a tax refund, inheritance or other windfall of money.
- If you’re living in an apartment in a high cost area, MOVE. I know, I know. You’re giving up a major part of your lifestyle. But it will be worth it in the end.
- If you live in a house that’s bigger than what you need or with mortgage payments that are too high, MOVE. Stop keeping up with the Jones’. I look at people buying large homes as a complete waste. You have to spend the money to furnish and heat/cool it. Not to mention clean it! Oh you don’t clean it? Fire your cleaning person and start scrubbing the floors yourself!
- If you gamble or bet on the big game, STOP. I can’t think of a bigger waste of time or money. I have seen families destroyed over gambling addictions. It’s sad to see what length people will go to double their money or make back what they’ve lost.
- Stop buying the latest fashions. Buy well made, classic pieces and sell off the rest.
- Start going through items in your house that you don’t use or wear and sell them. You’ll be amazed at what people will buy. The money you make should be deposited into your savings account. OR keep it in your paypal account and when you feel the urge to splurge, take the money from there.
- As much as I hate to type this one, avoid vacations. If you can’t, be budget minded when planning and start putting a little away a month towards the trip.
- Learn to cook and stop eating out so much. It’s not only good for your waste line but even better for your budget.
- Cancel all unused subscriptions – gym, netflix, hulu, cable.
- Stop buying books! The library is free people!
- Downgrade your high speed internet. Do you know that the majority of us are overpaying for faster internet when our area might not support such high speeds? A lovely customer service representative let me in on that information. Don’t believe me? Have someone come out and test the best speed for your home. Don’t fall prey that you need faster speeds in order to stream multiple devices. If you find that your devices are buffering or are slower then maybe bump it up. But try it at a lower speed first and see how it shakes out. You may be surprised.
- If you live in a good school district, stop sending your kids to private school. Believe me, I understand the difficulty in making this decision. We send our 3 year old to a very family oriented Catholic School for pre-school and next year for Pre-K. I would LOVE to send him there from Kindergarten and beyond but we live in a top rated school district. It’s impossible to justify spending the extra cost.
- Pack your lunch and meal plan your dinners. This helps cut down on dining out for convenience.
- When traveling, rent an apartment or efficiency so you can save money on dining out. Pack snacks too.
- If you have children, don’t buy new – especially when they are young. They won’t know!! Consignment and yard sales are a parents best friend. Utilize them.
- Use what you have. You know all those shampoo/conditioner, face wash, bath soaps, makeup, lotion, etc. USE IT ALL UP before you buy more. The same goes for candles, spices, pasta, coffee, tea, over-the-counter medicine, napkins. Think of all the clutter free drawers you will have.
- Cut back on the booze. I know, this may be challenging for some. But the high end bottle of red, top shelf liquor or the micro-brews could be creating a financial hangover (see what I did there). So, scale back to weekend or special occasion only drinking.
What other tips do you have!