Do you want to know how to be better with money? Is it time for you to stop living from paycheck to paycheck, and instead maintain a steady income? Consider starting with these tips to secure your financial future.
1. Not having a budget
Ever find yourself struggling to get from paycheck to paycheck, even if you’re supposed to be making enough money? Perhaps you might want to consider making a budget plan for yourself. Having a budget will help you take control of your financial situation, make better decisions with your money, and ensure that you have enough funds for all your needs.
2. Not saving up for emergencies
If there’s anything that the year 2020 may have taught all of us, it’s that emergencies can happen anytime, and our lives can change drastically in a moment. Natural disasters may happen, you could get sick, or you could lose your job. The rule of thumb is to have at least six months worth of your monthly income or monthly expenses in the bank. Have a separate bank account for your emergency fund to prevent mixing it up with your other expenses, such as your travel fund, or car fund.
3. Not investing your money
If financial freedom is your goal, then it’s not possible to live on savings or paychecks alone. Investments are a good source of income and are the best way to future-proof your financial security. There are many investment options out there for every level of risk appetite, from money market funds to foreign currency investments.
4. Relying on your credit card
Credit cards are nifty for traveling, online shopping, and emergencies, but can be a major debt trap without the right financial discipline. If you must use your credit card, make it a point to pay the balance as soon as possible. Avoid paying for interest by paying your full balance on time.
5. Neglecting your debt
The worst way to deal with debt is to shy away from it. If you are currently overwhelmed with debt, worry not; with enough planning and dedication, it’s possible to get out of it. Create a budget and a scheme for paying off your accrued debt. To determine which of your debts to prioritize, sort them by interest rate, risk, and late payment fees.
6. Impulse buying
We’ve all been in this situation before: it’s payday, and the item on our wishlist is at 50% off. Should we finally give in, or wait a while? While it’s so easy to give in to temptation, consider first your current cash flow, and how much you have stashed away for emergencies.
7. Paying unnecessary bank fees
You’d be surprised by just how many types of fees banks will charge for just keeping your money. Some will charge you for just maintaining an account with them; some will debit you for withdrawing money from a non-affiliated ATM; most will make you pay for going below the maintaining balance. When it comes to banking products, make sure to do your research and consider which options work best for your lifestyle and financial situation, before signing up for anything.
8. Not having insurance
If you think you’re saving money by avoiding insurance, think again. Make sure that your assets, like your car, your home, or even your own health have a safety net, should any emergencies take place. However, it’s also important to consider that you are getting the right product for your needs. Read the fine print and consider your own situation and financial goals before investing in products such as VUL or life insurance.