Not having positive money management habits can have a severe impact not just on your current finances but also on your future finances. Creating and sticking to good habits can help you feel more in control and give you a sense of confidence about your finances.
To get a better idea of your current finances and take charge of your money, use these four practices in your daily life.
1. Set Financial Goals
In the future, you may want to buy a different house, send your kids to college and retire. Now is the time to think about your financial future. This is true of setting both short- and long-term goals. There will be steps along the way, but you have to know your destination before starting your journey. Consider what you want your financial future to look like and set goals accordingly.
2. Think Ahead in Your Spending Decisions
Even if you already have an optimized monthly budget, create a plan for your net income that you haven’t designated for a specific use. Some money should automatically go to your savings accounts, but even so, you may still have unaccounted funds. Before spending those extra dollars, think about any upcoming expenses in the next few months or years. Does your vehicle’s registration renew soon? Will you need a new roof in the next few years? Preparing for these events can take a load off and ease your mind.
3. Purchase With Cash
A good rule of thumb is to not use your credit card if you can’t afford to purchase with cash. Falling back on your credit card when you want to buy something you can’t afford creates negative habits that are difficult to break. Continuing to spend money you don’t have leads to paying more interest, higher monthly credit card payments and keeping you in debt. Managing your money well means getting out of debt, and falling back on your credit card does not help you succeed in that goal.
4. Start Saving Early
Starting to save early can be more financially efficient and put your spending priorities into better focus. Saving early applies to everything from short-term goals like purchasing a vehicle to long-term goals like retirement. The earlier you start saving, the easier it is. It’s much easier to save for retirement over 30 years rather than 10. Identify your financial goals and start saving for them as early as possible.
Make these strategies your newest habits, and start on your way to a more effective money management journey. Contact the office and discuss how these healthy habits could make an impact on your financial plans.
Source: Steve Lindquist – gbfinancial.org
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