Let’s face it: you don’t want to work forever. Nobody does. But you especially don’t want to fret about your finances forever. When it comes to your overall financial wellness, a lot of its success is within your control.
- By Morgen Henderson
Whether you’re willing to make major changes in your lifestyle or are simply looking for a few easy-to-incorporate daily habits to start saving money, preparing for financial security doesn’t have to be so daunting. Here are a few ways to help you confidently secure a better financial future.
Embrace a Money Mindset
Every penny you save today is one you won’t have to worry about tomorrow. Make a realistic budget. Decide what’s important and make an honest effort to trim the fat. Factor in addition to your personal savings into its expense plan, as if it were a bill of its own. Consider that your most important payment — you are your best investment.
By now, you’ve probably figured out that life is always going to hurl the surprises your way when you least expect them, and oftentimes when it feels like the worst possible time to take on an extra burden. Do your part to help the blow of unexpected disaster hurt a little less. Double-check the provisions on your insurance plans to make sure you’re covered, should a fire, flood, or another disaster strike. Set up an emergency-specific savings fund and look into disability insurance. Life is the ultimate journey. You never really know what awaits you in the road ahead, but you know you’re going to face some bumps along the way. Preparing for these situations in advance is a smart move—for the sake of lifelong financial security, and your peace of mind.
Yes! You Do Need Life Insurance!
When you die, who is going to be stuck with your debt? Who will be in charge of arranging your funeral services? Better yet, who will be responsible for paying for your final expenses? Nobody wants to talk about the bad stuff, but the reality is harsh. It’s up to you when it comes to making things easier for your loved ones after you go. Give them one less thing to worry about by making sure your ducks are in a row. This will be a huge relief for them, and it’s never too early to get started. The younger you are when you start to invest in life insurance, the less you’ll end up paying each month. There are even life insurance plans for kids that start as low as $4 per month—a rather small price to pay for such a huge comfort to those you love.
You’re probably all too familiar with the core rules of credit. Being responsible with credit is important at any stage in life. Your credit can be a lifesaver if you ever find yourself in a pinch. Regularly keeping a watchful, protective eye over your statements and transactions can help you spot any suspicious transactions. Don’t get trapped in a web of interest and high fees. Keep your balances down. Pay them off on time. Credit can be your umbrella on a rainy day, or the clouds that ruin your fun, so use it as a tool to nurture your credit — and not as an instrument of debt.
Don’t be afraid to shop around for different rates on your recurring bills. Totally in love with your current plan or package? Some carriers and providers are often willing to lower your monthly payment in order to retain your business. Rather than lose your business to a competitor, they might be willing to cut you a deal. Saving a few bucks here and there between things like your auto insurance, cable, or cell phone plans can add up to equal big savings in the long run.
When you hear talk of going green, you may be hesitant to rewire your home for solar or enact major lifestyle changes for the sake of the planet, at the expense of your savings. However, small daily changes can be just as beneficial. In fact, living sustainably can actually save you money. While it may not seem like it saves a lot of money at the moment, developing sustainable habits over time can really pay off. Saving a little energy here and there around the home is easy! Making an effort to conserve water, unplugging electronics that aren’t being used, and remembering to turn the lights off when you leave the room are great examples of easy habits to start forming. These are habits that will save you money in the long run. That means more green for the planet—and your wallet!
First thing’s first: Get started. It sounds impossibly obvious, but the horror stories of those who waited until it was too late to start preparing for their financial future run rampant. Start saving a portion of your paychecks. Learn about investing and begin to make better money choices. You’re going to grow old, whether you want to or not. Allow yourself the wiggle room early on to make (and learn from) mistakes. Give yourself the luxury that is time to fall back on — your future self will thank you.
Morgen Henderson is a tech, business, and sustainability writer. When she’s not working, you can find her exploring the globe or baking in her kitchen. You can find more of her work at https://hendersonmorgend.contently.com/.