It isn’t always easy to save money. This is more of a chore for some people than it is for others, and often the prospect of getting your finances in order can seem daunting, even overwhelming. Many people don’t even begin to seriously start saving money until their late twenties, early thirties, or even much later than that.
It’s also just so easy to spend your money on frivolous things that only give you short-term enjoyment, rather than long-term security.
At some point, you’re probably going to have to sit down and create some kind of personal financial plan that will benefit you in both the short and long term. In this post, we’ll be discussing some strategies for doing so.
Construct a rough idea of where you want to go financially in the future.
The reason you want this to be a “rough” idea is because, while we can all plan for the future, we can’t 100% determine it. Keeping your goals somewhat vague, while also being grounded in reality, will:
- Give you a good idea of how you should start changing your saving and spending habits going forward, and
- Keep your future goals flexible enough to allow you to be open to change.
You probably aren’t exactly where you thought you’d be ten years ago. In another ten years, you probably won’t be where you think you’ll be either. Life is turbulent and unpredictable. But establishing some kind of goal is better than passively allowing life to push you in one direction or another.
In ten years, do you want to be able to afford a family? A house of your own? Both? Construct a goal and start moving towards it.
Choose a starting point.
You can’t very well begin working your way towards your goal if you don’t know where to start.
Begin by determining your net worth by evaluating both your assets and liabilities. Be objective – don’t get depressed about a lack of assets, or an abundance of liabilities. No one is perfect. Working towards a better life means determining your net worth, no matter what it may be, so that you can best figure out how to move forward.
Save as much money as you possibly can.
In this case, “possible” simply means “as much as you reasonably can, considering your circumstances”. Don’t save more than your required expenses demand. Don’t completely cut yourself off from the little joys in life, simply don’t overindulge. Make the most out of your money. Go about your personal finance planning and taxes as wisely as possible.
Also, don’t make yourself overwhelmed. Don’t overthink questions like, “Will I have enough for my retirement?” or “Do I have enough for my child’s education?” Right now, the answer is no. That’s why you’re constructing a personal financial plan. It’s a long-term process, but keep at it. Eventually, you’ll begin to realize, the answer to all of these questions is “yes”.