The aughts and the twenty-twenties have proven to be especially difficult; it seems as though every few years, the world is on the brink of severe economic precarity. We’ve all felt the burn of the Great Recession, and now, the economic fallout of the pandemic, in one way or the other. It’s easy for most financial gurus to blame millennials for their lack of savings given their alleged love of the fancy cappuccino or obsession with avocado. Of course, as we all know, the situation is far more complex, and there’s a whole slew of structural issues that had a hand in bringing us to this moment. Whether you’re a younger person or an older individual who wants to feel more empowered and in control of their finances, here are a few not-so-secret tips for you.
- Prioritize an Emergency Fund
There’s a ton of financial advice out there, and sometimes you’ll get a few mixed signals. Should you pay off all consumer debts first, work on your credit score with the help of this Credit Sesame Review, or build an emergency fund? While all three are incredibly important, perhaps the latter should take precedence, since it will help get you out of a bind. Even if you feel that you can’t put away enough money for an emergency fund, start small, and then slowly increase the amount that you deposit on a monthly basis. You’ll be surprised how quickly twenty or forty bucks a month add up. Of course, the ultimate goal is to set aside three to six months of living expenses.
- Make a Plan
Financial planning is tough for most people. It’s not a skill that is taught in school, and there’s still quite a bit of stigma attached to talking openly about money. It pays to actually consult with professionals in the field to help you out. If you live in Philadelphia, for instance, then it’s important to consult with financial planning professionals that understand the laws and how businesses or personal financial organizations work best. When looking for the best Philadelphia Financial Planning resources, it makes sense to go with a service that has the best reviews. Seasoned professionals suggest that setting out a strategic plan is perhaps the only way of truly knowing how much you can put away in savings, invest, or set into a retirement account. Talking with a local financial advisor to help you make sense of your finances may be a good way of approaching things if you don’t feel comfortable managing things yourself.
- Automate Your Finances
One of the simplest things you should do to help you meet your financial goals is to simply automate everything. Pay your credit card bills automatically so that you never miss a deadline again, and also beef up your savings account with nary a worry of feeling that you’ll overspend. It’s also the most effective way to save for more long-term goals, such as retirement: simply get the automatic payments going, and never give it another thought.
- Get Out of Debt
Few things cause more anxiety than debt. Credit card debt is worse because it typically comes with a high-interest rate. If you’re worried about how to pay off the debts, try to follow the snowball method: work on paying off a credit card with the highest interest rate first, then work on the smaller, less expensive piles of debt till you’re done. This will take time and dedication, but it’s well worth it for you to be out of debt.
Thinking about the future when things feel so precarious in the present is tough. However, it’s important to keep your eyes on the prize and to not sacrifice a stable livelihood for yourself only to meet less important needs today. With hard work and focus, you can eventually meet your financial goals.