Becoming financially savvy isn’t all about cutting coupons and cooking from scratch. Living a financially savvy life doesn’t mean going without. It simply means spending smart on the things that matter most.
Prioritize the Things That are Important to You
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Everyone has different priorities, so there’s no right or wrong answer here. Once you meet your basic needs and set some money aside for things like an emergency funds and retirement, managing the rest is up to your discretion. One person may want extra money for home decorating while another feels that having the latest fashions is a top priority. If you don’t make a conscious decision about what’s important to you, your money can disappear on things that aren’t really essential, simply because you’re not being careful about where you spend it.
Set a Budget and Make a Plan
If you’re financially stable, you may feel that a budget isn’t really necessary. If your goal is becoming financially savvy, however, you simply can’t skip this step. Looking at your budget you’ll quickly see areas where you’re not spending or saving as well as you could. If you value a new car over lunch at McDonald’s, it’s prudent to cut out the fast food stops until you have your coveted vehicle. Don’t waste money on things that aren’t really important to you.
When you have a clear plan for your future, it’s easier to keep your eyes on the goal. Forcing yourself to do the math and think ahead will show that a few small changes in your everyday habits could help you afford that dream boat for your retirement. Spend some time perusing financial articles from people like Fisher Investments Forbes Contributor Ken Fisher for even more insight into money management.
Invest Whenever You Can
Investing your money isn’t as difficult as it seems. You don’t have to dedicate your Sunday mornings to perusing the finance section of the paper or become a professional stock trader to get some serious benefits out of your investments. CDs are a low risk option that’s simple for beginners with a moderate amount of money to invest. A varied portfolio with stocks and bonds is a wise way to invest in your future. An added bonus of investing is that it keeps these extra funds out of your hands so you can’t spend it as easily.
Research Before You Buy
You can get your shopping fix and stay financially smart at the same time simply by researching your purchases. Sites like Groupon offer great savings so you can enjoy the same level of pampering for a discounted price just by keeping an eye on the latest deals. Go through a site like Ebates and you’ll earn money back on your purchases. Look for credit and debit cards that offer cash back as well. Just pay off the balance monthly and you’ll enjoy interest-free purchases with lots of perks.
Think before you buy and you’ll find that saving money and enjoying the things you really want isn’t so difficult after all.