Here are ten time-tested guidelines to give a boost to your finances. Follow these commandments religiously and you can’t go wrong with finances.
We all know that money is important to survive and meet the basic comfort needs. But what we have to realize is that money can’t make you happy. On the other hand, it can make you miserable if you’re managing it in a wrong way.
It’s time to change your outlook on your finances. Just having finances is not enough. How you manage your finances is more important.
Having a strong financial foundation right from the start will put you in a very favorable position in the times to come. While you are busy carving a niche for yourself, follow the time-tested guidelines given below to give a boost to your finances.
1. Start Early
Have realistic goals in your life and a proper strategy to achieve them. Ask yourself- what do you want from life? Make short term plans, like 5 years or even less. See how you are going to budget yourself to achieve these goals, like buying a car within a year.
Budgeting is a great way to do this. See where your money is going so you can make the necessary adjustments in your finances.
2. Make Saving a Habit
Get in to the habit of saving right from the start. Next time your paycheck arrives, make it a point to keep some away. Arrange with your bank to automatically divert part of your paycheck every month into a savings account.
Eventually, this little trickle of saving will amount to a large sum one day. So, you will be in a stronger position to face the economy upheavals or cover your expenses during a sudden job loss or pamper yourself with that dream vacation you have been wanting.
3. Live Within your Means
If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it. It’s that simple. Don’t give in to temptations. Most of the women have a difficult time following this. They do get the object of their desire, but then they are in a miserable position, having loads of debt to pay off. Learn to keep spending in check while you’re young, and you’ll save thousands of dollars over the years, and save yourself a lot of stress too.
4. Start Investing
Investing early in life will put you in a far better position. Facts and figures are there to prove it. Getting rich is not that difficult as you think. You don’t have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to be rich. Learn the smart ways of investment early in life and see your funds grow. The magic of compounding is there for all to se.
5. Pay off our Credit Cards
Get rid of any credit card balance, right now. Set a target to pay off all your debt or any other financial responsibilities within a certain time frame. Commit to use your credit card only for expenses you can afford to pay off each month. Avoid using plastic money, and use it only if it’s a necessity.
6. Establish Credit
Having a good credit history will help you a lot in the long run. You will not only qualify for the best interest rates on a credit card, auto loan or mortgage, but you can also save yourself a bundle on your auto insurance or help youself land an apartment or a job. So, start building a good credit history, as it will show you in a better light and build up your credibility.
7. Develop a Marketable Skill
Your education and job skills will be the most valuable asset you’ll ever own. Have a good qualification to start with the right career and boost your earnings. It’s also a good idea to start building and maintaining a network while you’re young. Personal contacts can come in handy to further your career or enhance your personal life.
8. Cut the Financial Umbilical Cord
There is nothing wrong with parents trying to help their child. But remember, your parents are not going to be there forever. So, the sooner you get the reins of your life in your hands, the better.
Now that you have your own apartment and your own paycheck, it’s time to get real and grow up. Be the controller of your finances. Just don’t let the parental help get in the way of learning to succeed financially on your own.
9. Marry Wisely
You and your spouse will make the most important team in your life. You will have common goals and interest, and will work together to achieve them. So, choosing the right spouse will have a direct effect on your life and its goals.
Your spouse should be someone with whom you can have a good communication at any time. Do not have any money secrets between each other. It’s a good idea to regularly assess your goals and progress. Money can drive a wedge between even the strongest of couples. Remember, a divorce is costly and can derail even the best-laid financial plan.
10. Have Some Fun
Following all the above guidelines doesn’t mean that you start taking your life solemnly. Managing your finances need not be a boring and serious affair. One should take out time to enjoy life too.
Take a class just for fun. Or take advantage of cheap travel options such as youth hostels, camping and off-season travel deals. Build some memories, meet new people and try new things. But make sure you don’t go into debt while doing it. Save up ahead of time, and you’ll be in a prime position to make the most of your life.
by Gurmeet Kaur, The Money Times