Adults from every walk of life must undertake a degree of financial responsibility. Some people are more or less fortunate right from the beginning, but maintaining financial stability remains a lifelong duty for everyone.
You might stare in envy at a person who came from a wealthy family who knows nothing about the hardships of a person living paycheck to paycheck, but comparing yourself to someone else can be a dangerous thing. For one thing, being subject to completely different circumstances makes the comparison inherently invalid, while there are often many undesirable aspects to a seemingly enviable position that the onlooker is unaware of. For example, studies suggest winning the lottery actually leads to more financial strife than the norm.
A person that needs to confront these problems on their own develops valuable life skills that results in the ability to fend for themselves in the real world. For this reason, you should spend your time learning how to become a formidable and independent manager of your own finances. Below, this article will explore some ways to do just that.
Repairing Bad Credit
Now more than ever, young people are off to a rough start financially. Studies show the average cost for one year of college tuition to range between $9,970 to $34,740. The obvious consequence of such astronomical figures is massive debt and financial strain that seems to have no end.
Due in part to the often predatory or misleading nature of loans, overwhelming debt becomes commonplace and ends up ruining your credit. Worse yet, bad credit further exacerbates financial strain. For anyone with a ruined credit score, looking into a credit repair program can be one of the best things you can do. Once your credit score is fixed, it lays a foundation for you to further improve your wealth.
Study Your Habits
Many people have habits or rituals that are eating away at their savings without them even realizing it. Parsing out the essentials from the nonessentials is a worthy exercise that has enormous potential to jack up your savings.
Your morning routine might be on autopilot from the time you roll out of bed to the second you plop yourself into your cubicle. While it might not seem like much in the moment, spending $4.50 for a coffee every morning adds up. If you do the math, this adds up to around $90 per month and over $1,000 if the habit is maintained throughout the year. In cases like this, it pays to invest in a coffee machine and make your own. This brings down the average cost of your daily cup of joe to mere pennies on the dollar.
Opt Out of Take-Out
Everyone knows how tempting the prospect of coming home after a long day and having food appear in front of you is, but this is another saving opportunity that rewards you for your restraint. Making your own food is not only cheaper, but studies suggest it is also healthier on average. In this way, preparing your own meals keeps your wallet fat instead of your waistline.
While it is obvious that making food from groceries is cheaper than going to a restaurant, government data suggests there is even more of a disparity now than in times past due to differences in pricing structure.
As if that weren’t reason enough, the benefits of learning how to cook for yourself extend beyond the financial realm. By learning how to hone their own culinary skills, many people explore cultures and flavors they might not have otherwise.
Clearly Define Your Goals
You stand no chance of “success” if you fail to define it in certain terms. A good starting point is to find out how much you want to save each month. Take this amount out of your monthly income and set it aside. The quest then becomes to live on the remaining income without tapping into the saved amount. This will likely require an adjustment period, wherein you will figure out which purchasing options work and which don’t. Embrace the challenge.
You might also want to figure out just how much money you want to save by the time you reach a certain age. This could be for reasons of buying a house, affording retirement, or some other type of expense. It’d be wise to explore the world of stocks and get your portfolio organized.
When it comes to investing, time is your friend. For this reason, the earlier you start, the better. According to a recent Gallup survey, an average of less than a third of people between ages 18 and 29 owned stocks between 2009 and 2017. As a result, these people missed out on the widespread stock market growth in these years.
Be Wary of Identity Theft
The methods by which thieves steal only grows in sophistication as technology progresses. One of the most common ways identities are stolen is by way of email scams. Often, the fraudulent email will lead the unsuspecting victim to a website wherein they willingly divulge their personal information. Avoid clicking on unfamiliar URLs and trust your instincts if something seems a bit off.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.