It seems like financial responsibility is thrust upon us with no real preparation. We go from being provided for to providing for ourselves seemingly overnight. It is no surprise that so many people find themselves in financial trouble and don’t know how they got there. We develop bad habits young. We leave high school or graduate college and expect to live at the same level as our parents with much smaller incomes. Just because you have struggled in the past with finances, doesn’t mean you cannot become adept at managing money. It just requires a little dedication, discipline and will power.
Tips for Finding Financial Security
- Credit cards are evil. It is wise to stay away from credit cards. Many people will argue that you need to build your credit. These cards are not the way to do it. The truth is that most people do not know how to use credit cards well. They end up ruining their credit instead of strengthening it. Stick to spending money you actually have.
- Car payments are overrated. You don’t need that nice new car that devalues the minute you drive it off the lot. Save your money and buy a nice used car that you can afford now. This will free up a lot of income.
- Create a budget now. If you want to be a financial wiz, keep track of your spending. Create a budget so you are never late paying bills and don’t have to resort to eating Ramen noodles for a week.
- The Joneses are in debt. Just because your friend drives a nice car and wears designer clothes doesn’t mean you have to. That person is probably in debt anyway. Don’t live above your means to try to impress people. You can find nice, gently used designer clothes for a fraction of the cost.
- You don’t have to take out loans to attend college. There are a million ways to pay for your education without taking out student loans. You can apply for scholarships and grants. Get a part-time job and take night classes. It might take you longer to get through school, but you will be debt free.
- Save for retirement. You are never too young to start saving for retirement. If you start putting money aside now, you only need to contribute a small amount to an account with compound interest. That way you can live comfortably when you reach retirement age.
- Avoid debt. It might take you longer to save up enough money to buy that thing you want, but patience always pays off.
- Your dream job and house might take a while to find. Learn and get experience. Don’t expect your dream job to be the first one you land out of college. Try to get employment where you can gain valuable experience. It is okay to live in a small house. Don’t purchase a house you can’t afford. By the time you pay it off, it might not be the dream house you once thought it was.
- Shop around. Insurance is a fact of life. If you drive a car, you are legally required to have insurance. Don’t go with the first cheap quote you receive. Shop around and negotiate. Nashville local insurance agents are available to assist you in finding an auto insurance that fits your budget and provides adequate protection.
The biggest lesson to learn is to always live within your means. If you don’t have the money to pay for it now, you cannot afford it. Stay out of debt at all costs. Learn to enjoy the simple things in life. Avoid going out to eat all the time and hang out with friends at the park instead. Have a dinner party at home. If you want designer clothes, buy them second hand. Spend money responsibly and you will be less stressed.