On the internet, financial experts have shared with us strategies that we can use to take personal finance management from bad to really great. Some of those strategies work, but some don’t because they are not based on a winning combination of budgeting and common sense.
They also don’t work because those approaches do not take into consideration the everyday life of an average person. Not all are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Sometimes it’s inevitable to start from scratch when it comes to earning and saving money.
It is important when you are flat out broke to save as much as possible for the rainy days. A small change in spending behavior and attitude toward money can produce significant positive benefits to your financial portfolio. You may have realized that foregoing that $4 latte every morning, and instead, making your own coffee would save you at least a thousand bucks by the end of the year. Saving doesn’t have to be painful; it can be fun too. Other times it could be related to things you would like to get rid of but don’t know where to start.
Exercise: Identify the costly behaviors in your everyday life through personal finance software and find ways to eliminate or change them. Drinking and smoking, for example, are expensive behaviors and could be a recurrent source of failure to manage personal finance smoothly and effectively. Health-wise it can be detrimental, even fatal, which can further create persistent tension and more stress in your life.
These negative activities tend to accumulate over the long run leading to a complete financial disaster. So, nip them in the bud. If you are a couple, find ways to resolve or settle financial disputes. The good news is, when you figure out the issues early on, quality of life increases.
Another way to overcome financial misery is by investing. There are many ways to invest in. Some people choose less risky paths such as education, real estate, and other tangible items. Other investment venues include the stock market, commodities, and precious metals. The presence of diversification is as important as the mode of investment you choose.
Exercise: Do extensive market research. Attend seminars, forums, discussion groups, and events. Do the real math. If the cost of a certain investment is more than you can really afford, move on to the next idea. Remember, you are not investing to become rich overnight; there is no such thing. But picture your future and believe you are profiting two, five, or ten years down the road. Put the positive benefits on one end of the scale and negative ones on the other side.
If you want to be successful in investment, the positive side should weigh more. In practical terms, you want to invest in something that makes you happy and at the same timeless risky. When you think about it, there is plenty of information out there, various tried and true methods for what type of investment fits your needs and budget. Again, personal finance software can come handy here. Your goal in investing should be to make sure the rewards outweigh the expense.
Education is one of the means to financial freedom. Getting a good education is what actually keeps most people free from debt, through better job opportunities and promotions in the workplace. There is no such thing as having too much education, and there is no age limit to educate yourself for a particular job.
It can be seen that people who are college graduates earn 50 percent more than those with a high school diploma. Likewise, the former group has a wide range of jobs to choose from as well as more likely to get hired quickly. Does this mean you have to enroll in a career training program or similar college to meet qualifications? Certainly yes. The sooner the better.
Exercise: Find out what colleges offer short term or long term courses for the job you have an eye on. If you are keen on improving your personal finance management skills, there are online courses or personal finance software packages for just that. Brace yourself for a windfall of job offers for certain types of degrees. You can easily eliminate the frustration that comes with bad finance records and debt with such skills.
Last but not least, networking with people around you is key to financial success as well. The quality of people and the consistency of their support can make a huge difference in your financial life. You may want to keep in touch with your banker for good loan rates. People that you work with may come in handy to obtain realistic ideas and tips for saving money. Bear in mind that the more willing you are to go and reach out to people, the more useful it would be, financially.