In today’s world it’s hard to know what to do to get your house in order. It’s especially hard to think about these kinds of things when you’re struggling to make ends meet.
But, financial wellness is a mindset, and it’s never too early to start planning. I know far too many “wealthy” people who are terrible with their finances and as a result, are never ready for life’s financial setbacks. They too, believe it or not, live paycheck to paycheck and often resort to short term loans to make ends meet.
Here are a few recommendations:
1) Truly wealthy people count pennies. You’ve heard this before. To me this simply means, learn to be frugal. Learn to shop around. Don’t spend money unnecessarily. Never spend more than you have or more than you have to. Be slow to use credit for things that lose their value or don’t make money. Don’t blow money on expensive clothes, jewelry and cars, etc. Learn to be satisfied in things that have a longer shelf life: family, alone time, hikes, leisure activities, service.
2) Pay off debt. When you do use credit, or get a loan, pay it off quickly, especially when it’s small dollar credit. In other words, if you have 10 creditors, pay off the smallest ones first. Don’t be as concerned about which one has the highest interest rate, pay of the smallest first and work your way up. This creates a debt elimination mindset that will become infectious.
3) Live within your means and try to increase your income. Too many of us simply spend what we make, never saving, and often never seeking to make more, while spending less. I’ve blogged before about creative ways to earn money on the side. But, most importantly, train yourself to live within your means.
I will conclude with a thought I share often. Always remember that money isn’t everything, but when your finances control you it’s often hard to find peace in life. Make changes today. Think big! And don’t give up.