Financial security can mean a lot of things for different people. It could mean more vacation time with family and friends, or it could give you the chance to buy your dream home. Whatever goals you have, earning and saving as early as you can and as much as you can will give you freedom to help achieve them.
So, if you’re looking to build a brighter financial future for yourself, the best time to start is now. Here are five tips to help be financially healthy.
Learn the Difference Between Saving and Investing
First, you need to learn the difference between saving and investing — both are crucial to financial stability.
Saving money basically means putting your funds aside and storing them for emergency purposes. Most savings account come with little or no interest, so your account never really increases — or at least not very much — which is why you should also consider investing your money.
Certain savings accounts, like IRAs and term deposits, are similar to investing your money because they garner interest over time. If you’re willing to take a few small risks, investing can lead to some big payouts.
Create and Stick to a Budget
A crucial part of budgeting is becoming hyper-aware of every dollar that goes in and out of each of your accounts.
You’ll want to start making grocery lists, cancel any memberships you’re not taking full advantage of, and making either a list or a spreadsheet of all your purchases you can update and analyze regularly.
Technology can also help when it comes to budgeting and saving money. Mobile banking apps or third-party apps like You Need a Budget can help you keep track of your spending and reduce where possible.
Prepare for Retirement Now
Retirement is the most common reason people seek financial help. If you want to start building your dream retirement now, consider filling out a retirement income calculator to help you determine how well you have prepared and what you can do to improve your retirement outlook. It will allow you to re-evaluate your preparedness on an ongoing basis, look at changes in the economic climate, inflation, achievable returns and how your personal situation will affect your retirement planning.
Pay off Your Debt
Firstly, you’re going to want to tackle your mortgage. Sure, it can be tempting to take a look at unconventional loans for the home should you have other goals, but it’s a better idea to just get it paid down first, be debt free, then save for other things.
Once you’ve decided to pay off your mortgage, you’ll want to start cutting costs elsewhere so more money can go toward your home. Start by paying off any other debts you have, so those costly interest charges can go away. A popular method of debt consolidation, referred to as “snowballing,” is to pay off the largest debts — and thus the largest interest fees — first.
Talk to a Financial Planner
The key to finding success in the hard-to-navigate world of savings, investments, debt and budgets is a good financial planner. The right adviser will give you comprehensive, long-term financial plans that are tailored to your personal investments, tax strategies and estate planning. Talk to your local bank and make a meeting with a recommended consultant.