I’ve recently started to buckle down and get smart about things like saving and investing. Sometimes we wait too long and think more about our present selves than our future selves, which can leave us in trouble down the road. We care more about an expensive dinner out that we can’t really afford than putting that money towards our savings and future. Believe me, I’ve been there, and I’m all about living life to the fullest! But it’s also important to be money smart! If you’re feeling lost when it comes to money, today I’m sharing simple personal finance hacks that will make you wealthy in the future!
1. Create a Budget
Creating a budget is one of the best things you can do to keep your finances on track. Without a budget, it’s easy to spend on things you don’t really need and maybe can’t even afford. If you look at your bank account and wonder where all your money’s going, it’s time to sit down and create a budget for yourself.
Start with your fixed expenses. These would be the items that are the same each month, such as rent/ mortgage, bills, transportation, etc.
Then there are your variable expenses. These are things like groceries, going for coffee, eating out, online shopping, entertainment, etc.
Firstly, you should be tracking your spending. If you don’t track it already, take a look at your bank statements from a few months back and see what you’ve been spending on. You may be surprised about what you’re spending most of your money on and may need to cut back in certain areas. You can always download a budgeting app like Mint to keep track of where your money goes!
Organize your expenses into fixed and variable expenses and then organize them into categories, and set a budget for each category. For example, maybe you set a budget for $200 for groceries each month. If you go to the grocery store once a week, that’s $50 a week for groceries. Try to keep your variable expenses as low as you can, especially when it comes to wants over needs. You may not be able to cut down on groceries, but you can cut down on eating out and buying coffees every day.
Related Post: 8 Smart Ways to Save Money Now!
2. Pay Off High Interest Debt
High interest debt can really mess with you if you don’t get it under control. Credit card debt usually carries a high interest rate, so once you pay it off, you’re actually saving money since you’re not paying interest anymore. Take a look at your different sources of debt (if you have multiple, that is) and pay off your high interest debt first!
3. Pay Yourself First and foremost
Whenever you get a pay cheque, you should always pay yourself first. And no, that doesn’t mean going to your favourite clothing store to buy a new pair of jeans. Paying yourself first means taking a cut of what you earned and putting it towards saving/investing for your future. Even if you can’t save a lot right now, something is better than nothing. $200 a month is better than $0 a month, $100 a month is better than $0 a month. No matter what you can put aside, make sure you’re always paying yourself first.
4. Don’t Spend More than Your Earn
Living below your means sounds easy, but for a lot of people, that’s just not the case. People buy cars and homes they can’t afford, spend money on expensive meals every night when they should be cooking at home, take vacations they pay with on their credit cards, and so much more. Spending more than you earn is going to leave you with no room to breathe in the future or when an emergency hits. If you budget your money properly, this shouldn’t be a problem, but resist the urge to spend on things you know you can’t afford so you can afford the life you want in the future!
5. Build an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a lump of cash that’s there for you in case of emergencies. Let’s say your car breaks down and needs to be fixed, or you lose your job and are out of work for a couple months. An emergency fund ensures you’ll be okay in these instances and won’t have to go into debt.
Your emergency fund is different from your savings account and should only be used in an emergency (no, a last minute trip to Vegas is not an emergency). A good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 months of expenses saved in your emergency fund, but ideally 6 months in case times get really bad.
6. Set Saving Goals
Saving is a lot easier when you have something specific you’re saving for. It can also make the saving process go much faster. For instance, if you know there’s something you want to invest in and you need to invest a certain amount of money by a certain date, you’ll find ways to make it happen. Or if you’re saving for a home and know you have a timeline to buy a house in the next five years, you’ll cut down and save where you can as much as possible!
You can also set specific amount goals to save. For instance, have a goal to save $5,000 then push it to $10,000 then $20,000, etc. and give yourself timelines. Just like any other area of your life, if you give yourself saving goals, you’ll be more likely to hit them!
7. Start Investing
It’s never too early to start investing. I don’t know a ton about it so I’m not going to tell you where to invest your money, but I’ve been saving to invest in something at the end of this year and I’m over the moon excited about it! Invest in things that you believe in and that will appreciate over time. This could be anything from real estate to stocks to a business venture. Investing is very personal and I’m no expert, but it’s definitely something you should start looking into if you haven’t already.
8. Launch a Side Hustle to Bring in More Income
A lot of people talk about cutting down your expenses to be in a better place financially, but another option is making more money. There are so many opportunities for starting something on the side these days. Imagine making a few hundred extra dollars a month, or even a week! How much would that help you? Tons, I’m sure! If you’ve been thinking of starting a side hustle, you’re going to love my list of 9 creative side hustles to boost your income!
So there you have it, 8 simple finance hacks to make you wealthy in the future. Don’t feel bad if you’re not doing these things already – it’s never too late to start! Remember, always pay yourself first, stick to your budget, and start saving and investing NOW! Do you have any personal finance hacks you’d add to this list? Or a money story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it in the comment section!
If you loved this post on money hacks, I’d love if you shared the image below on Pinterest!