STEPS TO ATTAIN FINANCIAL SECURITY BEFORE TURNING 30
The common mindset of most young people is to enjoy all their firsts: new car, new house, enjoy life to the fullest, and have their own family. Being financially secure for retirement is their least priority. But do you know that you can save for the future without depriving yourself? Here’s how.
Have Fun. Enjoy yourself while you can or you will end up feeling miserable when you are older. To draw a line between work and leisure time, one must live a successful, enjoyable, and happy life. It is also important to balance your life today and in the future. You need to decide between what you spend today and what you spend in the future.
Invest in Yourself. A person’s most valuable asset is his skills, knowledge, and experience. The value of future earnings may or may not dwarf any savings or investments for most of your career. Your job and future career are two important factors in achieving financial independence and security. Think of yourself as a financial asset. If you invest in yourself, it will pay off in the future. Enhance your knowledge and skills through hard work, continuous education, upgrading skills, or making smart career choices. All of these can create much impact on your financial security than attempting to save more and tightening your budget.
Be a Planer, not Saver. Studies show those who plan for the future end up with more wealth than those who do not. Be a planner. Successful individuals set goals and create an action plan to attain these. Writing down some goals will help a person attain it. Control your life by being goal-oriented and sticking to a plan.
Set Short-Term Goals. Life has many uncertainties. Hence, a lot of changes can occur in one’s life. Planning way ahead of future is a daunting task. So it is better to come up with sets of small-term goals than to set long-term goals. You must also remember short-term goals should be exact, measurable, and doable. Set another short-term goals upon achieving one of those goals. Making and chalking up short-term goals consistently will make you reach long-term ones.
Forget about Retirement Planning – for Now. Forget about planning for retirement, if you have to for now. But do not forget about this for good or jeopardize your golden years. In some cases, you have to temporarily abandon their retirement plans, especially if you have other important, pressing goals to fulfill such as buying a house or sending a child/sibling to school. But if you really to start saving for retirement now, you may begin with putting automatic monthly contributions to a retirement plan such as 401(k) or Roth IRA. You need not to worry about the amount you are contributing if you observe the principle of paying yourself first. The most important habit to develop is saving. The rest will take care of itself. You may amplify your contributions as your income escalates, or when you have fulfilled most of your short-term financing goals.
Use Excess Cash Flow Wisely. In the first few years, many fresh graduates discover they have excess cash flow. These young professionals believe it is easy to generate more money than they need since they are still used to their frugal spending habits way back college. But do not be overwhelmed with these cash flows. Rather than using it to finance your lifestyle, why not use this money to cut debt or add to savings? Always remember that a good life should be reward for hard work, successful planning, and good fortune, not something you are entitled to. In other words, live below your means.
Educate Yourself. Saving is one thing. Making that saving grow is another story. You need to make reasonable financial and investment decisions to achieve your financial goals. How? Take time and effort to gain knowledge in personal finance and investing. The more knowledge and experience you earn, the fewer mistakes you will make throughout your life.
Take Calculated Risks. Taking calculated risks can be a prudent decision in the long run. While mistakes are inevitable, mistakes are lessons of wisdom. You actually learn more from these mistakes than successes. Young people can afford to take risks since they can recover faster from shortcomings, and have a longer time to recuperate. This is significant to move ahead financially.
Borrow Money for Investments, Never Fund a Lifestyle. Never succumb to borrowing money just to finance a lifestyle above your salary. Constant borrowing assures you will have no money available for investing, and the interest from borrowing increases your lifestyle cost. Instead, borrow money for investing, which can surpass your borrowing costs. This can give you leverage in order to reach financial goals faster. Borrowing to sustain lifestyle is counterproductive.
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