The blogosphere is replete with tips on how to do things better, and simply improve our lives in general. It seems like we can find more and more information with each passing day. This is a good thing, because wisdom can be shared much easier than it was in days gone by!
Personal finance success tips are no exception to this trend. Along those lines, I thought I would share some of my own tips, based mostly on my life experience and to some degree on the success of others. There were many topics to possibly address, but I decided to share a small cross-section in this particular post.
Here are 6 personal finance and money-related tips that I offer up for your consideration:
- Focus more on making money rather than on saving money. Now, it’s of course important to save money. I’m not a fan of spending much money in general, but we can’t get away from some regular expenses that are a part of life. We can only cut so far, until the incremental time we spend on thinking about and executing savings measures outweighs the time involved. Such time could be used to work harder on one’s job, networking, getting an advanced degree, or even making side income. Besides, if we want to save money, we need to make it first!
- Keep yourself healthy. Whoa! How is this a money tip? Well, if we can’t keep healthy, it can seriously impair our ability to make money. Once the cash inflow stops sooner than we want it to, real problems can ensue. Additionally, health care can be quite expensive. The bottom line is that it pays to be healthy.
- Learn how to define what “needs” really are. Tried and true recipe, right? Needs before wants. The thing is, I think that a lot of folks get derailed by misclassifying a want as a need. For example, nobody needs a new home or condo with new carpet, a kitchen with granite countertops, beautiful master bath, etc. I had one of those once, in the form of a new condo. I really liked it, but it wasn’t truly necessary. A need would be something more like a safe, just big enough home close to work and school. People who stretch for something that’s not a need but a want, can end up overspending and sometimes harming their finances in the process. The housing crisis is Exhibit A for that point!
- Think long-term. Remember, it’s easier to work and make money when younger. When older, it can be tougher to move around, and people often just have much less energy and more health problems. Plus, it can be easier to find work when younger. This is why it’s important to think long-term, and work for the you of today, AND the you of many years from now.
- Save early and often. Sure, I mentioned above that we should focus more on making money. However, that doesn’t mean we want to ignore saving. Rather, simply start saving money and make it automatic. Do it as early in your life as possible, and save as much as you feasibly can without spending inordinate time and effort doing so. Over the long-term (that word again!), compounding can work its magic for you.
- Be a giver. Our money and time are precious resources, in my view. That said, it’s often good to think of the bigger picture, and what it all means. Helping others and being generous can be beneficial for both the giver and the recipient. While of course we need to have boundaries, and don’t want anyone taking advantage of us, we also have the opportunity to really make a difference simply by showing some genuine caring and generosity to those in need. The payback is there, in one form or another.
My Questions for You:
Do you follow any of these tips?
Which do you like best? Or, disagree with?
Do you have any other tips to share?
This post was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance at NerdWallet.