Some people don’t believe they’ll ever reach a point of getting to live a life where they can buy nice gifts for their family, take them on fun vacations or build that new home they’ve always wanted. But that’s usually because they’ve not been willing to improve the part of their life that matters in personal finance. Some people struggle with debt, and not because they used credit cards to go buying thousands of dollars worth of expensive jewelry or go on luxury cruises. Usually it’s because they just weren’t careful with small payments that added up and didn’t realize how much they had spent until too late. Improving your personal finances and using a budgeting plan go hand in hand, but there’s even more you can do than just create a personal budget to get to a better place financially.
Increase Your Income As Much As Possible
Ultimately the only way you’re really going to be in a better financial place is to bring in more income. This may mean asking for a raise or promotion at work, and if you’ve been at your job a while and put in the time your boss might consider it. If not, then it may be time to look for a career change, or take on a second job. If you can’t schedule in a second job, then use your free time to take on a second gig such as being a handyman for your neighbors, teach people music lessons, become an Uber driver or a part-time direct seller or freelancer. The point is there are always ways you can add to your main income with a second stream of income, and who knows but you may even be able to startup your own business from a side gig.
Save For The Unexpected Emergencies
An interesting article from CNBC showed that many families, even those whose households brought in over $100k a year often failed to have so much as $1,000 in savings for emergencies. It is unfortunate that all too often people only focus on regular ongoing expenses, and though they may have insurance including health or life insurance, they likely don’t have extra money sitting around for things like home or auto repairs. It really isn’t hard either to build up savings for emergencies. All you really need to do is create an extra savings account and have a small amount of say $20-$50 of each paycheck go into it, and then steer clear of that account until you truly do have an emergency. It’s far better to pay for emergencies out of your own savings than to go into credit card debt, or to use very dangerous cash advance or payday loan funds to pay for them.
Improve Your Credit Profile
Staying in good shape financially means making sure your credit always looks good. Contrary to what some people think, this doesn’t mean never applying for a credit card, or taking any credit cards you do have and just cutting them up and throwing them out. It means you just need to keep close tabs on them and balance using them with the funds in your bank account, and then keep your credit utilization low and manageable. But also, keeping your FICO score in good health means you should check on your credit report occasionally. Ordering this free credit report means you can check for errors that should not be there, and if you notice any you can contact a credit repair services company to help you get rid of them if the credit bureau won’t. But by keeping your FICO score in good shape you can get good financing deals for when you really need it such as getting a home mortgage or a business loan.
Following good savings and budgeting tips can ensure you’re not taking on unnecessary debt and bringing yourself to a point where you have to dig your way out of it. Living a little frugally early on can help you build up wealth for later on, and you can then start going on those once in a lifetime vacations you’ve dreamed of, or put your children through college or even have a comfortable retirement. But get in the habit of not blowing every dollar of your savings on luxuries or items that won’t help you long-term.