According to research, putting away enough money for retirement is a top priority for most Americans. Despite the blatant awareness to prepare for that time, many have not been able to save successfully, as only thirty-six percent believed they were on track with saving for retirement. Also, almost sixty percent cited debt as their major obstacle to achieving their financial goals, whether it was saving more or planning to buy a home. If this somewhat sounds like you and your financial situation is probably the cause of your sleepless nights, then it’s time to do something about it. Here are some effective ways of taking control of your money matters and turning them around.
Sometimes, what you don’t know could kill you. Many people have money struggles because they do not understand how money works and how to utilize this to their advantage. The reason you’ve become more money-conscious matters little, and you can start by simply reading some material on money or finances. You can find many resources online or in your local library that will get you started right on your journey to financial literacy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you spend about $5,442 on stuff you don’t need in a year. That’s money that could have gone to your new home fund, education fund, or retirement. When it comes to spending money, it’s important to understand that only you have the power to make a more financially rewarding decision. Another thing to note is that smart budgeting and spending wisely go hand-in-hand and one does not do well without the other. Also, draw up a daily budget to help you keep track of your expenditure and notice what takes up a large chunk of your money. After you establish this, you’ll be able to decide if it was worth it and if that amount can be saved. You’ll also be able to notice much earlier and do damage control when your expenses are going left.
This is very similar to drawing up a budget. However, the difference is that a budget is short-term while a financial plan is long-term, capturing plans way ahead into ten or twenty years into the future. It also features much more detailed and complicated expenditure as you’ll typically have more money to work with. Long-term planning is beneficial because you can forecast and plan accordingly. For example, if you’ve recently decided to buy some veneers but don’t have the full funds available, consider spreading the cost over six months instead of 12 months. This way, your financial burden (and interest) will be reduced. When planning for your money, it’s very important to understand that everyone has different priorities and earnings, so you should make reasonable, attainable plans that won’t overburden you.
Paying in cash will help you spend less and save more money. This is because purchases feel more meaningful when they are paid for in cash. The result is more money consciousness and reduced spending on frivolous things. According to the Journal of Consumer Science, pain associated with saying bye to hard-earned money forced buyers to spend less and value the purchased items a lot more.
It might be time to get a side hustle to augment your money-making efforts. Though you might be hesitant to go down this route, remember that financial security is the dream to work at. Whatever your talents may be, you can leverage them to bring in some extra money. This can be another desk job of a part-time nature or becoming a handyman to bring in some extra money. If you want to take a shot at setting up a side hustle, there’s support here to guide you through.
Another viable option when trying to secure your financial future is to go back to school to better your job qualifications. You can either choose to get certifications in areas that’ll broaden your career horizon and make you a more agile professional. Remaining in demand is important, so you don’t become redundant and find yourself out of a job unexpectedly. That’ll mean no income, no savings, and potentially no financial future. This might mean heading back to school for a bit or combining work and education. And even though studying while working can be stressful, it’ll prepare you for a career adjustment and enable you to command a larger earning potential.