Ahh! Spring is in the air. Garages are open, the junk is flying out and everyone is out and about. As we gear up for summer and for our summer jobs – now is the perfect opportunity to begin building a financial foundation. Although this may seem like a tedious task – the reality is once you set up your base once you’ll be set for life and will only require mild fine tuning as your career takes off. The habits you build from now will last a lifetime and money management will become an even larger component of your daily lives as your career, income and family grows.
In this week’s article I will be looking at a few ways to help jumpstart your future and build a solid base.
Step 1: Budgeting – Know where your money goes and how much of it goes where.
In today’s rapid pace world, I find it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of expenses. From debit transactions, cash payments and wire transfers – half the time you don’t even know where it goes. Building your budget and figuring out your expenses is so vital in so many ways. Doing this will allow you allocate funds where necessary and cut out useless expenses. So many people tell me on a weekly basis” If I had an extra 100-150$ a month, I would be really well off”. The fact of the matter is on so many occasions cutting the budget is the smartest option. I don’t mean cutting out someone you use to open up funds but cut out expenses that are not required.
For example, a friend of mine cut out their landline recently as they were already paying for their cellphone and cut their cable because they had an online service already. Just like that he was able to cut out an extra 80$ month. Now he could’ve picked up extra hours at work to cover the costs but now he doesn’t have to (or the extra hours are bonus money). The same can be applied to so many other scenarios – many of times its not the large fees that ding us but the combination of numerous small fees that really eat into your income.
The bottom line here is making a budget will give you the opportunity to visualize and see where the expenses are going.
Step 2: Setting up an ASP
One of biggest flaws of budget’s today is the omission of savings from budgets. Till this day I still don’t understand why.
When I ask people if they invest or are interested in savings, they reply with “I don’t have any money”. The reality of it is savings don’t necessarily have to be large amounts. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your portfolio.
For example, let’s say for every day of your life from now onwards you save 5$ a day for the next 40 years.
So for 5 $ a day equivalent to a trip at a high end coffee place – you can really see the savings pile up. Remember your value will be dependent on your interest rate. The higher your interest rate the greater your return. But even keeping the money at the bank at a low rate of 1.5% which is great will still equate to 100k in the future. The easiest way to do this is via an ASP or Automatic Savings Program (plan) which are plans that will automatically take the money from your account and transfer to a savings, investment or any other account – you won’t even have to bother about it.
Disclaimer: All of the above information is my own personal opinion. The examples provided may not necessarily lead to additional income – please verify your own personal situation before making any changes. Please check with your financial institution or bank to for interest rates and ASP’s.