Ideation of having finances in order remains little more than a fantasy for many people.
With the average cost of tuition at an in-state public college now over $25,000 per year, this means an unprecedented amount of people cranked out of the system with a massive debt burden.
Chances are there are some changes you can make to your daily life that will help you make the dream of wealth a reality. Take a few minutes each day to examine your own habits and see what can be improved upon.
Pay Off Owed Money Entirely
It’s impossible to build personal wealth when you are stuck in the negatives because of debt. One of the quickest ways to accumulate unmanageable debt is by utilizing credit cards poorly and not paying off the amount in its entirety. This is because credit cards typically bait you in with attractive offers or rewards, but commonly have very high interest rates – sometimes over 20%.
While mortgages and student loans usually have lower interest rates, they can still pose real trouble for some people. If you find yourself unable to make regular payments for your tuition, consider looking into refinancing your student loans.
Create A Budget
Without dedicating time to really look where your money is going every month, many unnecessary or otherwise inflated costs remain insidious detriments to your financial life. To prevent this, precisely layout your daily and weekly expenses and observe areas in need of improvement.
You should put this budget in a place where you see it frequently to keep your financial priorities fresh in your mind, and to help fend off the desire to indulge in impulsive purchases.
This may also be a good time to consider any subscriptions you currently use and whether or not you are better off without them.
With many companies, subscriptions are renewed automatically even if you haven’t used the service in months. Other times, other deceptive practices are employed.
Set Goals For Yourself
As if research were needed, studies suggest that defining your goals has been linked to improved outcomes. Any goal is better than none, but the more precise you are, the better you will fare. If your goal is to “be a billionaire”, you should consider breaking up the goal in precise terms and decide how you will overcome them step by step.
It’s good to be ambitious, but biting off more than you can chew right away is a recipe for disappointment. You want to be realistic and specific with your goals. This does not mean you should give up on any grandiose dreams; it merely means that you need to break up the quest into digestible segments and be honest with yourself as to how you plan on making these benchmarks.
Another good way to discipline yourself is by imagining where you do not want to be, but know that you realistically could be in 5 years. Envisioning a grim outcome for yourself if you do not get your finances together can motivate you just as well as imagining your secure, idyllic future.
Don’t Let Social Media Mislead You
Now more than ever, our lives are pervaded by the influences of social media. Especially among millennials, social media has been linked to poor spending habits. Part of this is due to a feeling of inadequacy compared with the often lavish and luxurious displays on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
It’s important to know that refraining from wasting your money now on indulgent purchases will reward you with exponentially more wealth down the road. Stay humble and do not buy into the hype.
Build Your Investment Portfolio
Polls show that only 37% of people younger than 35 have stocks. There is no reason to not have at least some money portioned into a stock portfolio, especially for a young person. Investors often regard time as the greatest asset to wealth accumulation, which means youth is a golden opportunity to get involved in the stock market.
Many people make the mistake of assuming they will need to keep a constant eye on their portfolio and buy or sell on a daily basis. While some day traders may do this, most people opt to enjoy the benefits of rising stock markets via more offhanded approaches.
One way many people opt to get their feet wet in the stock market is with a mutual fund investment. These are comprised of a number of investors looking to pool their funds and are operated by professional money managers. In this way, the benefits of professionally managed assets are passed on to shareholder at a very reasonable price.
Negotiate Your Purchases
In many cases (especially with smaller businesses), prices are not set in stone. If you are buying a car from a private seller, doing some homework and negotiating a lower price can potentially save you hundreds if not thousands. Likewise, buying items in bulk or demonstrating loyalty by repeated business often grants you some leeway with the vendor.
Prioritize Your Health
Astronomical healthcare costs aside, keeping your health a priority delivers a host of benefits. From your mood to energy levels and thus productivity, the implications of your physical health might be further-reaching than you realize.
Not only will staying healthy help to keep serious illnesses and injury at bay, it will also ensure that your mind and body are functioning on all cylinders at any given time.