Taking control over your finances isn’t always easy to do. Many people believe they need to be experts to improve their finances, and that’s not the case. You just need to be willing to learn and take the steps necessary to build confidence. In a recent online conversation, people discussed money tips that have helped them the most in their lives. Here are ten of their top choices.
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1. A Poor Man Cannot Afford To Own Cheap Things
According to a finance expert contributor, when you avoid buying cheap items and save up for high-quality ones, you are choosing wisely. Wealthy people typically behave that way, not because they are forced to, but because it is a habit they developed while accumulating their wealth, adds this contributor.
2. Track Your Spending for 30 Days
“It was the most important personal data collection project I’ve ever done,” says a commenter. Tracking your spending for this number of days informs you of your spending habits, things you need to cut down on and keeps you in check.
You learn if you’re spending money on wants or needs, and you can make adjustments or innovative financial plans as required.
3. Don’t Take Free Handouts
This advice keeps you in check; it helps not ruin your sense of responsibility and budgeting simply because you expect a free handout.
It would help if you were up and working, not expecting someone somewhere to always handle your needs. Except you’re really in bad shape, politely decline free handouts.
4. Design and Develop Better Experiences Through Tech
Today, tech is rapidly evolving and spreading across fields of life. You should take your business to the next tech level to succeed financially. This might be as simple as leveraging the power of the web to reach a broader array of prospective clients or customers.
5. Spend Less Than You Make
Some people spend more money than they make. Sometimes I think about this, and I’m astounded. You’re not going to prove a point to anyone by overspending.
Nobody cares. It’s not only wise to spend less than you earn, but it also demonstrates your financial stamina. We also cannot forget the old saying, “Save for a rainy day.”
6. Start Investing Early
It’s easy to believe you need a lot of money to start investing. You don’t. Investing apps allow you to start investing with as little as you want.
Why is it so important? Time is the best gift you can give your money. That $25 or $50 you’re putting aside each month may seem like it’s doing nothing. The amount isn’t the point, in the beginning. The point is to develop the discipline.
7. Know the Difference Between an Asset and a Liability
While rich people seek to gain assets, poor people are about creating liabilities for themselves. Attaining wealth begins with understanding the differences between assets and liabilities and the consequences of both.
Someone defines an asset as “a stock portfolio that pays dividends and grows, or a rental property that generates positive cash flow” and liability as those that “drain your cash.” They are pretty much correct.
8. Pay Yourself First
This advice emphasizes prioritizing saving and investing for the financial future before allocating money for expenses and discretionary spending. When you save or invest a percentage of your money as soon as you get it, you ensure you’re accumulating wealth and moving towards your financial objectives.
According to a contributor, “This strategy helps avoid the temptation to spend all your money and ensures you have a safety net for emergencies and a foundation for long-term financial security.” It’s best to use an online bank, like CIT Bank, that pays a competitive interest and no fees.
9. Money Talks, but Budgets Listen
Money might fetch you some power and influence, but one cannot underestimate the power of proper budgeting, which allows for long-term financial success. Indeed, a budget allows for careful consideration of spending and saving and can help individuals or organizations make informed decisions about their financial priorities.
10. It’s Not What It Costs To Buy It; It’s What It Costs To Keep It
Remembering this advice in mind will help you overcome some financial hurdles. Sure, you might be able to afford that expensive car, but can you afford to keep it running year after year?
That house might run you half a million, but what’s the annual cost to maintain it in decent shape? These questions help you define your priorities and distinguish between acquiring assets and liabilities.
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This thread inspired this post.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.