I’ve always wanted to share the knowledge I learned as an economics major to the world, but in a more simplistic form than it was given to me. At the curious age of 23, I have often wondered what would happen if I just stopped my sudden impulse to shop and fought the urge of the supply and demand theories I have learned to love so much. In the 21st century, we as individuals must take a step back and really analyze where our income is going. Are the funds that we are receiving disappearing right before our eyes and we do not realize it? If so…. wealth accumulation starts with you!
Being responsible for your own future can seem stressful. However, if we do not approach financial planning and retirement with mindfulness, we are destined for failure in our future. There are three simple strategies in personal finance that can honestly make or break your standard of living; make your money increase or break your pockets: Budgeting, Saving and Investing.
Let’s consider this scenario. Today is the 15th and you have received your income for the month. By the 29th of the month, you realize that you are nearly out of money and have to eat ramen noodles for dinner until the 15th of the next month. Yep, you went out for a girls’ night, shopping, attended extravagant dinners, did some more impulsive shopping and on top of that bills had to be paid.
What happened after all of those items were credited to your account? This my friends, is the beginning of poor budgeting. Budgeting is a crucial aspect of our everyday lives and if it is not done properly (or at all), we lose the wealth accumulation we dream of and worked so hard to obtain. For every month that you receive income, a budget should be created. The budget should account for all of your income and allow you to control what you want to spend based on your needs and wants. By taking control of your money, you have the power to live comfortably with all of life’s amenities and…if you don’t you could be forced to live in a state of darkness — turning your home into a candle lit apartment due to poor money management.
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you promised you would save up for that particular item? How many times have you actually made it to your goal? It is said that a large number of Americans do not reach their financial goals in their life due to the fact that they have not made a budget that includes a saving category. While making your budget, tell yourself that you are going to save a set amount each month. You should establish a savings account specifically for the money you wish to have, and start growing it slowly. Everyone is different and so is every method of saving.
When the word invest is brought to the table, many of us change the subject. It is not that we are not interested in investing, it is because more than half of our generation does not understand how investing actually works. Take time out of your busy schedule and follow the stock of a company that is most prominent in your life: Starbucks, Apple or even Disney. By following that one stock, you can understand a number of things that go on within a company each quarter. Then you will see what all the talk on Wall Street is about.
Common $ense Tip: With every paycheck you receive agree to a minimal amount to put away for future savings. Not when you’re bored and feel like shopping. Believe me, having a comfortable cushion of dollar bills to fall on is better than landing on nothing. On that note, I will step off my soap box.
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