One of the top things that we like to talk about in the world of personal finance would be to try to get as much money as possible. Even if you don’t want to be Bill Gates or Sir Richard Branson wealthy, chances are good that you still want enough money to provide for your family no matter what happens in the world around you. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. As we looked back on 5 years of providing personal finance information, we found that there are some habits that might be keeping you from having the type of money that really lets you be comfortable. Below are a few of these listed out for you.
First and foremost, it’s the tendency to spend your money when you’re young and you feel like it’s coming in buckets. It’s easy to think that you have plenty of time to save for retirement, but do you really? That can be a hard pill to swallow when you’re 55 and you need to make sure that the money that you’ve scraped together manages to last. What would you really do if you had to come up with money that’s outside your small budget? If you start saving, you won’t have to answer that question at all. You’ll be too busy making sure that your life is filled with incredible experiences. That’s just the way it is.
You get to jump in and save while it’s on your mind. People say that they don’t have money to save, but this is a habit of the eternally broke. Is that harsh, yes, but I’m not trying to be. I’m trying to warn you before you walk down a path that you can’t escape from.
That’s an important point to keep in mind. This isn’t something that will improve itself overnight. In order to really get the benefits that you’re looking for, you have to be able to make better decisions. Yes, there’s going to be pressure to do what your friends are doing. However, if your friends are anything like my friends were, they aren’t going to be thinking about their health or their finances.
I grew up with a circle of friends that had to have all of the latest stuff. As we got jobs and started seeing more money coming in, we thought we’d never have a point where we would be skint. Unfortunately, I got sick and I had to live off of my savings. My friend also got sick, but he didn’t have any savings to live off of. He had to plead with his mum to move back home, which is downright embarrassing when you’re an adult.
If you miss monthly payment son bills, you’re going to be hurting your credit rating big time. This is something that I wish someone had told me when I first started out with credit cards. I was also told that if I could just come up with the minimum payment, everything would be fine and there would be nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, I found myself caught up in a bad situation. I knew that I needed help, but everyone told me to just keep making those monthly minimums. All that really did was take care of the interest. It didn’t make much of a dent in my principal. I was lucky enough to get bailed out by my grandmother, but I learned a very important lesson — just because someone said that you should be paying the minimum doesn’t mean that’s where you have to leave everything. You have to make sure that you’re protecting your own interests at all times. Sure, some people mean well but they might not have much more financial knowledge than what you have.
What about your driving habits? Believe it or not, this can eat away at your money as well. If you love fast cars, you’re going to be paying a lot more in insurance premiums than someone who doesn’t mind taking it slow. When I was younger, I was always in a hurry. Now I realize that time is short and life is very precious. It might take me longer to get from place to place, but I drive defensively. Because of my driving habits, I’m not pulled over for speeding tickets. Being hassled for money over such trivial things isn’t where you want to go anyway. You want to be able to enjoy your money to the fullest. A speeding conviction adds a LOT to your insurance premiums. Don’t get caught and use that extra money to treat yourself to something nice once in a while.
You need to watch all of your addictions — including smoking and drinking. Alcohol is expensive. When you’re young, you want to fit in and be seen as a fun person to hang out with and hit the pubs with. Unfortunately, when you’re picking up tabs you’re actually messing with your financial future a great deal. How? It’s easy — that’s less money that ends up in your savings account.
You also need to look around for the best deals. There was a time in our society where loyalty meant that you got the best deals. But those days are long over now. It’s going to be up to you to really make sure that you’re taking good advantage of the time that you have to look around for the best deals. If you don’t, then everyone from your insurance provider onward will assume that you don’t mind paying more. Not a good look, man.
What about all of that stuff cluttering your house? Do you really think that you can take it with you when you’re gone? If you really want to free up space, you can turn in a lot of old gadgets and possibly get some money for it. There are also garage sales that will let you sell off things that you’re not using.
If you’re trying to make your money last, you need to make sure that you question everyone trying to sell you something. This includes people that are trying to offer you loans. Many loans were bundled with payment protection insurance, and well…we all know how well that worked out, don’t we?
The bottom line is that if you’re going to try to be better at your finances, you need to make sure that you’re looking into all sides of the problem, not just the side that looks appealing to you. It’s your financial future at stake. You can’t expect your parents or even your friends to care about it as much as you do. It’s your life, after all. Good luck with everything that you have planned from here on out!