When you are at the beginning of your career, planning for your ripe years may not feature on your priority list. You are more inclined towards paying off your student loan and managing your rent. You also want to indulge in shopping and live a carefree life you always dreamed of. Most people defer this to a later stage in life but by then, so many other responsibilities take over. For instance, children’s education or buying a house may become a more concerning matter.
Experts say the earlier you start, the higher are the benefits you can reap. You can enjoy the power of compounding by investing early in life. In fact, your money can grow by manifolds and give you a comfortable and stress-free retirement life.
If you have a full-time, decent-paying gig; now is the right time to get your finances in order. Here are a few simple steps that can help you in this regard.
Chart out your financial goals
Are you planning to settle down with your partner in the near future? Do you intend to buy a house in the next couple of years? Do you have any other financial priorities? If the answer is yes to any of these, it is a good idea to start saving up for them. The more you save, the lesser will be your loan obligations. You may even create a vision board that will keep reminding you of these goals. It will also help to revisit this board every six months so that you can modify it as per your changing goals.
Create a budget
If there is one habit that can really change your life, it is this. Spending as per your budget will not only keep your expenses in check but also increase your savings over time. You can use an app if you don’t know how to go about it. Apps also make tracking a lot easier.
If you get a raise or a bonus, make sure you save a decent proportion of it. Of course, it is nice to spend once in a while and pamper yourself. Treat yourself to an expensive item or go on a holiday but only after you have saved a decent amount.
Keep a check on your expenses
If you use a credit card for your bills, it may become difficult to track your expenses. Sometimes the credit card bill may come as a shock to you. You can avoid this situation by making notes every time you swipe your credit card. Secondly, now is also a good time to reflect on how many times you go out for food and drinks. Hanging out with your friends is a more pocket-friendly option. You can plan a board games night or a movie marathon to make it more interesting.
Know your credit score
Having a good credit score is a must if you wish to avail loans in the future. For instance, they enhance the possibility of loan approvals. Secondly, you can also get loans at cheaper interest rates if your credit rating is high. If your credit score is low, you can plan your finances around it. For example, you can improve your credit rating by paying your credit card bills regularly and timely.
Get a money buddy
Habits, whether good or bad, tend to rub off among friends. Pick a friend, colleague or a relative who has good money habits. Gone are the days when talking about money was considered a taboo. People are more open now and have no qualms in discussing their finances. Discuss your goals and take advise. You can even pledge for resolutions together like sticking to your budget.
Managing your money can go a long way in building a better future. It is advisable to hold your urges and make a plan to stay on the course. You will be surprised by your savings at the end of the first year.