Posted by Checkbook on Aug 11, 2020

Spending Habits For Success

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Before you spend, think to yourself, “Is this something I WANT or something I NEED?”

Know Where You Stand: How much money do you actually have and how much can you actually spend? Be realistic instead of ambitious. Book emergencies and contingencies into your calculations. A late start to saving does not mean inability to meet goals, and an early start to saving does not guarantee success. Each person has different goals for savings so you don’t need to compare with anyone else.

Set Priorities And Goals: Develop a budget and stick to it. Planning a trip to Hawaii next summer? Start planning how much to save each month and when you get there, don't overspend your budgeted amount. For long term savings, a cheat day here or there won’t hurt, but if you’re in a time crunch, control yourself. If you have more than one savings goal, prioritize them.

Establish An Emergency Fund: Unexpected events may affect your original plans. Who knows when the next pandemic will shake up again? If you are unemployed today, your unemployment benefits won’t start rolling in tomorrow morning. Set at least 10% of your income aside for emergency savings. Think of it as an insurance policy. This money should allow you to live for a few months should anything affect your current income.

Pay Off Debt: Most debts accrue interest and some may even affect your credit score. Being debt free is a big advantage to your financial situation and it feels great too! For example, in the case of student loans, you definitely aren’t getting more education by paying extra interest. It’s the same for a mortgage, your house is not getting any bigger or nicer when you pay that monthly interest.

Don’t be Afraid to Automate: Have your paycheck directly deposited to your bank account and set automatic transfer amounts to your savings accounts. Set up automatic payments for necessary costs, like your monthly rent. If you are worried, you might want to set overdraft limits with your financial institution. Virtual banking makes life a lot easier but don’t forget to stay alert about any suspicious or fraudulent activity on your accounts. Protect your private financial information at all costs.

Track Your Financial Actions: Record financial investments and products to better understand your income and expenses. This will be crucial for future success. If necessary, you can utilize personal financial management tools, such as Mint.com, or even pay for a financial advisor. You are simply acting as your own database by logging positive versus negative results from financial choices.

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