We often hear that money can’t buy happiness, and it’s completely true. You can be a multimillionaire, live in a palace fit for a king, drive around in expensive cars, have a lavish lifestyle and still feel absolutely miserable. The world is full of such examples. But it’s also true that not having money can make you feel just as wretched. It might not be the solution to all your problems or the answer to all your questions, but we need money in order to live a healthy and safe life.
Besides, for most people it’s not a matter of being rich or not. It’s about having the necessary financial resources to ensure a comfortable and decent life, so they can go about their days without stressing about money all the time. A life where the fear of dealing with monthly bills doesn’t exist and where after covering all their regular expenses there’s still some fun money left in the budget. That’s a perfectly reasonable goal, but one that a lot of people struggle to achieve.
The question here is how can you ensure financial stability in a world that’s becoming increasingly unstable? Is it possible to create a worry-free financial future and if so, what steps should one take to get there? The answer is yes and yes, but you’ll have to brush up on your money management skills first. Here’s how to do it:
Set clear financial milestones
Let’s put it this way: if you set out to earn 1 million dollars by the end of the year, you’ll be a tad disappointed when you draw the line and do the math, so you might want to recalibrate your expectations. If you seek financial stability, slow and steady wins the race. That means you should take it one step at a time and set out realistic short and long-term financial goals. Planning is a valuable skill when trying to get your finances in order and you’ll need to learn to work with what you have. Of course your main objective is to solve your financial issues, but you must realize you can’t do that overnight or by having unreasonable hopes. Assess your current situation and starting from there, create a plan that will work for you.
Evaluate your spending habits
Understanding where your money goes is a big step forward toward making better money decisions. Your daily spending habits might eat away at your budget without you even noticing it because small things add up. When you don’t keep track of your expenses, it’s easy to fall into the mindless spending trap. That’s why you should put pen to paper and start analyzing your cash flow. If there’s a big discrepancy between what goes in and what goes out, then you should reconsider the way you spend your money. It doesn’t mean you should live like a monk, but even small changes can have a positive impact on your budget and help you restore financial health.
Create additional income sources
Up till now we’ve talked about prevention, now it’s time to talk about action. Good planning and wise spending can only get you so far. But if there’s not enough money coming in, it will be hard to reach the financial stability you’ve been dreaming about. So instead of trying to spend less, you must focus on earning more. Having one stable job might have cut it back in the old days, but in the present context, it might not suffice. That’s why taking on a second job or running any type of activity that can help you supplement your income is the best way to press fast forward and achieve your goals faster. In the current job market, you can earn more money by getting side hustles or freelancing in your spare time, without the need to turn it into a full-fledged business.
Build an emergency fund
There’s no telling when an unexpected and unfortunate event might come your way and ruin all your carefully devised financial plans. You have to imagine the worst case scenario and be prepared for it. When times get rough and you need money urgently, sometimes the only option is to search for the best loan for your needs to get you out of trouble. But an even better solution is to have an emergency fund in place for these situations. Admittedly, not everyone has the financial means to put money aside for dark days, but in many cases those rough patches happen exactly because people are not cautious enough to create a financial safety net in the first place. If you’re interested in opening a savings account, it’s worth taking a look at EQ Bank rates. The best time to start saving is right now if you want to have your back covered and ensure peace of mind.
Debt – such a dreaded word and yet a concept that many people are all too familiar with. For most of us, debts are a necessary evil and the only way to get ahead in life. Taking out different types of loans is a great method to pay for things when you don’t have the necessary funds, but you have to give it back some day and the problems arise when you have too much debt and not enough money to cover it. Debts often stand in the way of achieving financial stability, so it’s time to address the issue. Once you’ve got your budget in order, you should start making extra payments to cover your debts as fast as possible. Prioritize paying off credit card debt, personal or student loans first and leave mortgage for last (but don’t skip on monthly installments).
Save for retirement
Retirement seems like such a distant prospect when you’re young, but time flies by in the blink of an eye and before you know it you’ve reached retirement age. It’s better to think about retirement sooner rather than later and start saving when you’re in your prime years. Think that when you won’t have a salary anymore, your lifestyle will depend entirely on the savings you’ve made while you were young. The future you will be immensely grateful if you were wise enough to start saving now and ensure a financially stable life later on.