With all the day-to-day distractions and challenges we face on a regular basis, it’s far too easy to get caught up in the present without paying much attention to the future. For many people, just getting through the day or week is overwhelming enough. But as crazy and demanding as life cab be, it is essential to keep your eye on the bigger picture, and part of that is planning for your financial future.
There are many individual components to your overall financial picture, including your monthly expenses, your outstanding and revolving debts, and the amount you are saving for your retirement. While many of us believe in luck, there are more than a few ways to tip the balance of financial good fortune in your favor. Here are seven simple ways to help you achieve a brighter financial future:
Get Rid of Cable: Experts say that you can save on average about $150 per month just by cancelling your cable TV subscription. With all the available streaming services, including Sling, Hulu, Plex and Netflix, this one should be an easy expense to cut from your monthly bills.
Stop Eating Out So Often: As of 2017, for the first time in American history, the average family is spending more eating out than on groceries for home. By bucking this disturbing and wasteful trend, you could save not only save money, but also improve your family’s health. With more than 70% of Americans considered overweight, and nearly 36% of us in the category of obese, this trend towards eating out has obviously taken a huge toll on our health as a nation. Shop smart, cook healthy, save money.
Spend Less on Holidays: Advertisers have done a fantastic job of convincing us that we need to spend extravagant amounts of money during every holiday, whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or New Year’s. However, that simply isn’t true, especially if you are saving towards your future financial security. Far too many of us give in to the societal pressures and bury ourselves in credit card debt or search for “title loans near me” to live up to a perceived expectation. By taking a “no to corporate commercialism” stance, you can save yourself huge amounts of money and stress by making the holidays about people and experiences, rather than expensive gifts or parties.?
Use the Snowball Method To Minimize Debt: The Snowball Method is a very popular debt-reduction strategy that many people have used. The strategy very simple, yet incredibly effective at organizing, prioritizing and eliminating your debts. The basic idea is to pay off your smallest debts first, freeing up more money in your monthly budget to more effectively address and pay down larger debts.
Use the 60% Solution: In this strategy, the basic concept is to reduce your monthly overhead to within 60% of your total net income. The remaining amount is then used to pay off debts, save for an emergency fund, contribute to college and retirement funds and cover any other expenditures beyond monthly recurring bills.
Set Short-Term Goals: By breaking up your saving goals into smaller, more attainable amounts, your likelihood of sticking with them and ultimately reaching them is greatly improved. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with lofty or overly ambitious goal like saving up $100,000 in five years. Instead, try starting with a short-term saving goal that’s actually tangible and attainable, such as saving $5,000 over the course of a year, which translates to just under $100 a week.
Live Within Your Means: Implementing and adhering to a is incredibly important when trying to live within your means. By fastidiously tracking your bills and expenses, you can better plan for how to effectively spend and invest your remaining income. If you haven’t already created a basic budget for yourself, start by deducting all of your monthly expenses from your take home income.
Whatever funds are left over after this simple calculation is what you have to work with. The more you can save, the less you’ll spend the money on items you don’t need or are distracting you from your ultimate goal of financial security. If you believe the margin is too tight between your income and expenses to effectively contribute towards your goals, now comes a time of reckoning. Are there still parts of your monthly budget that you can do without, or do you need to increase your income? While there is no easy answer to this question, remember, numbers don’t lie, and long-term gain comes from short-term sacrifice.