Many of us have been taught the basics of managing our money from a young age. We had our first bank account before we turned 10. We’ve received advice from well-meaning relatives and participated in “hands-on” money management activities such as a lemonade stand.
Managing your finances can be a daunting task, so I wanted to share what I believe are some of the best tips for financial well-being, no matter where you are in life.
- Save early & save often: Budgeting isn’t just for adults — it’s essential for kids as well. Teach them how to save their money and put some of their income into savings every month to have something to fall back on if they have an emergency or want to buy something special.
- Establish an emergency fund: An emergency fund is something that every person should have. This fund is used to handle any unexpected expenses, whether they’re caused by a natural disaster or something more personal like a medical emergency. Having an emergency fund helps keep you out of debt and provide you with some peace of mind during hard times or when you get older.
- Set aside some money for yourself first: Paying yourself first means that you automatically set aside some money before spending it on anything else. Whether this comes in the form of retirement savings, setting aside funds for future expenses or even just having an account that is used for anything but short-term spending, paying yourself first will help ensure that your future needs are covered.
- Tackle high-interest debt: Most financial experts agree that you should prioritize paying off high-interest credit card debt before moving on to other types of loans or debts. Typically, this requires a monthly payment higher than any other type of payment you currently make. Still, it will be worth it in the long run — not only will you save money by avoiding interest charges, but your credit score will improve, and creditors may be willing to offer better deals on future loans.
- Don’t co-sign: Co-signing a loan or credit card is a big risk, especially if you sign before you’re fully aware of the details. If you don’t pay on time, you can affect your credit score and history. Don’t co-sign for them on any loans or credit cards if you want to help out a family member or friend with their finances.
- Invest wisely: You don’t have to have a great deal of money to invest successfully in the stock market, but it does take some research and knowledge about how the market works.
- Life insurance: You can do several things to make sure your loved ones will be financially secure after you’re gone. This includes ensuring that they have enough life insurance protection to cover final expenses and pay off any debts that remain once you’re gone. A person can choose from several types of coverage, including term, whole life and universal life.
Financial well-being is not an overnight process. It takes time, understanding, and determination to create the lifestyle you want. Starting young is the best way to build good habits. It can be intimidating to jump in later in life if you don’t. This is important that you pay attention to the long term when making short-term decisions.