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Most of us have been there: You may be fresh out of college, in between jobs, raising a family on one income or simply in a situation where you don’t have a lot of money leftover at the end of the month. Here are five tips that may help you make the most with what you have, while helping to build habits that can continue to serve you in the future.
Starting Small is Better than not Starting at all
Big goals like buying a house, sending your kids to college, or retiring can be intimidating. It’s easy to look at a big number, become discouraged, and give up before you even start. But more than likely, you are not going to look back and say, “I sure wish I’d waited longer to start working towards that goal.” In fact, I hear the opposite quite often. Remember that even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!
Don’t Buy Things you Don’t Need
Whether you make $25,000 a year or $25,000 a month, I urge you to make the decision to stop buying things you don’t need. This can help you retain more money at the end of the month, more space in your home and you’ll be doing the environment a favor. Next time you’re considering a purchase, ask yourself: Do I need this? Will I use this? Do I have room for this? Can I afford this without a credit card?
Say yes to “Free” Money
If you work for an employer who offers matching contributions to a qualified retirement plan, it may be worthwhile to find a way to contribute the required minimum to get the full match. Even if your employer’s contribution seems small, it can add up and has the potential to grow over time. Contact me to learn more about this.
Don’t Forget Insurance!
Do you think you can’t afford insurance? If you’re in a tight position already, choosing the cheapest insurance – or not buying it in the first place – can seem like a good way to save money. Doing so, however, can have real risks and repercussions. Say you let your car insurance lapse and then get in an accident, or you choose to not buy renter's insurance and your home is broken into. Are you willing to take those chances? Take some time this month to review all your policies including medical insurance as well as auto and homeowners/renters insurance. If you don’t understand your coverage or aren’t sure where to start, find an insurance agent who is willing to sit down with you, explain your current coverage, and help you determine what is best for you.
Call a Professional
Are you still overwhelmed? You’re not alone! Understanding your finances is a big challenge for many people, regardless of age or income. Consider working with a financial advisor who can help you understand your options and determine the next step in pursuing your goals. If you’re pretty sure your bases are covered, please share this article with a friend or family member who may benefit.
Investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal.
This is meant for educational purposes only. It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action. Please consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation prior to making any financial related decisions.