No matter where you are in life, almost anyone can benefit from being financially savvy. Whether you’re just getting started with your first job after college or are nearing the end of your career and are starting to think of retirement, having the right financial tools in place can give you peace of mind. Here are some of the top finance tips to help you be financially successful.
Have a Plan
The first step to being financially savvy is to have a plan. You can do that by creating a financial calendar to help remind you of certain events throughout the year. Some financial events may be easy to remember, such as filing your taxes each April, but others may be more difficult to remember, such as paying for routine maintenance around your home.
Create a Budget
Along with having a financial plan in place, you should also create a budget to ensure everything is paid on time and you have money set aside for the future. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 50% towards your needs, such as housing, food, and utilities, 20% towards savings, and 30% for discretionary spending such as entertainment, eating out, and electronics.
Everyone should have goals to help plan for the future, both short and long-term. This means you should put money away for things such as emergencies that may come up and for your future retirement. Along with setting aside money as a safety net, you should also consider setting up milestone goals you’d like to reach, such as paying off your home, student loans, and other outstanding debt. You must set a financial goal.
It may seem like a waste of money, but having insurance in place to protect your car, home, and valuables can be important in the event of an emergency. You can learn more about finding the right insurance to protect you and your loved ones by talking with an experienced insurance agent who can help you evaluate your needs and determine the appropriate coverage.
Be Mindful of Spending
Even those who bring in a decent salary could be at risk for going in the red if they don’t adopt good money habits. People should be mindful of their spending so they don’t overextend themselves. It can be tempting to keep up with the Joneses in order to meet societal norms, but it isn’t always healthy. Instead, be careful of what you spend your money on and only invest in purchases after careful consideration. Being mindful of your spending can help you in the future.
Take the 401k Match
If your employer offers you a 401k match, you should take it. Taking the match allows you to put money away faster and not taking it is essentially like throwing away free money. After you’ve invested in a 401k, you shouldn’t tap into it unless it’s an absolute emergency or else you may be subjected to early withdrawal penalties.
Meet with an Advisor
Sometimes, having a plan and putting money into savings isn’t always enough. Sometimes things can happen that are beyond your control, which is where having an advisor can come in handy. Everyone should have a relationship with a financial advisor and check in with him or her for advice every now and then.
Nobody is perfect, and at some point, you’ll likely make a mistake or two along the way. Rather than let your mistakes define your financial future or continuing to let them spiral into even bigger issues, acknowledge you made an error and then move on. Mistakes are a great way to learn what you should and shouldn’t do, and they don’t have to dictate your finances.
At the end of the day, there’s no secret formula for how you should or shouldn’t manage your finances. Everyone is different and has unique needs, so if you have some helpful tips to guide you and learn by trial and error, you should be able to achieve financial success.