The road to financial stability can seem like a long and difficult one, but there are manageable steps that you can take that will help you reach financial stability. You can read about setting financial goals for yourself here. In this article we will cover healthy habits you can start today that will put you in control of your financial situation.
1. Look to the Future
We are bombarded with thousands of ads a day telling us we could be happier, smarter, cooler, sexier, and an all around better person if we just buy this or that. And, of course, we better hurry because this is the biggest sale of the year and if we don’t act now we will surely miss out! For most people.. there is something exciting about feeling like we just got something we “need” for a good deal. In order to avoid excessive spending, try and train yourself to take a moment and step back before clicking that “Order Now” button. Focus on your future and your goals. Make sure that what you are about to do keeps you on your path to financial success.
2. Play Offense
Establishing and maintaining savings is the number one defense against a dependence on credit cards. . According the bankrate.com only 1 in 4 Americans have adequate savings to cover 6 months of expenses. For some, saving can be a challenge it is not easy and it does not happen overnight, but you have to start somewhere. Try automatically transferring money weekly (even a small amount) to a different bank or credit union than your checking account. This will help you avoid the temptation to dip into it. With your savings established, life’s surprises will have a much harder time catching you off guard.
3. Be Your Own Credit Card
Credit comes from the idea of buying now and over time, with monthly payments that are easier to handle, paying back the creditor. This can be favored over spending a big chunk of money all at once. However, if you are okay with making monthly payments towards something, why not make them to yourself and set aside the money for the item you want? Use the time that it takes to collect the funds needed to do research, compare products, and shop for deals. You will end up with the best buy for your money and you will never be charged fees or interest. You may also be able to get a bonus discount on big ticket items when paying in cash.
4. Just Because You Can… Doesn’t Mean You Should
In society today its all about keeping up with the Joneses. But, getting tied down with the largest mortgage and/or car payment you can be “approved” for can be financially paralyzing. Then you add in the additional costs of a home and car ownership (utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance, ect.) and you are now over budget. With no wiggle room to spare, you may find yourself being forced into a vicious cycle of more and more debt. Finances are the number one cause of stress, so do yourself a favor and keep your financial obligations manageable.
5. Keep at it
Like any healthy lifestyle change, you have good days and bad. The important thing is that you keep your goals in sight and don’t give up. If you get off track… tomorrow is a new day.