Money issues are the most commonly cited source of stress in everyday life and in marriages. If your finances are under control, odds are that the rest of your life is manageable. When you have too much financial pressure, nothing else feels manageable.
Getting this part of your life mastered will lead to great gains in happiness, contentment, and mental health.
You also have more freedom and more options when your finances are solid. Thereâs no downside to a big bank account and little debt.
- Pay yourself first. If your plan is to save whatever remains at the end of the month, youâre unlikely to save much. Pay yourself before you pay any bills and ensure that you canât easily spend that money. Youâll find a way to take care of your financial obligations without using that money.
- Pay attention to your credit. Get copies of your credit report every six months and look for errors. Also, do the things that are necessary to continue building a stronger credit profile.
- Pay your bills on time.
- Use your credit cards responsibly.
- Avoid using too much of your available credit.
- Build an emergency fund. What will you do if your car breaks down, and itâs not under warranty? Or if your refrigerator decides to die? Live in Phoenix and need a new air conditioner? Lose your job?
- Some experts suggest setting aside enough money to pay at least 6 months of living expenses.
- Create a budget and stick to it. Even millionaires need a budget. Make a sensible budget for yourself and adhere to it.
- Start planning for your retirement. Itâs never too early to start planning. Time is your friend when it comes to saving money and getting the most from your investments.
- Avoid most debt. Most people need to borrow money to buy a house or a car. However, using debt to buy a guitar, a vacation, or new patio furniture suggests that perhaps you canât afford those things and it might benefit you to be more focused on saving money and increasing your income.
- Debt has a way of beating you down in the end.
- Consider the long-term cost of items. A pool isnât free to maintain. Five hundred dollars spent on a new recliner could have grown to $10,000 or more if it had been invested. Think about how much money something is actually going to cost you over the next 10 years or more.
- Have financial goals. If you set a financial goal, you might actually hit it. Without a goal, thereâs no telling where youâll end up. Have a goal for your finances and make a plan to get there.
- Become a personal finance expert. There are endless resources available on personal finance. Use them and develop your expertise.
- Look for less expensive alternatives. Do you need a $25,000 fence, or is there a fence that only costs $5,000 that will perform the same task? A 5-year-old Toyota will get you to work just as well as a new $50,000 BMW. The movies and books are free at the library.
- Always consider less expensive alternatives that could satisfy your needs. Put away the money you save.
Mastering the financial aspects of life brings contentment and opportunity. Money doesnât solve every problem, but it can solve a whole lot of them. Take the necessary steps and enhance your personal finances. Become an expert on money, and your life will be enhanced in many ways.