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1. Save a portion of your income:
There’s a popular saying about making and saving money; “making money is easy, keeping it is the hard part.” That’s especially true for those of us who struggle with money management. After all, if you’re a poor saver, you’ll have to make an incredible amount of money to offset your excessive spending habits. It’s fine to treat yourself every once in awhile, but you should always allocate a certain portion of your paycheck to savings. Based on your income and expenses, determine what works best for you. For guidance, many people use 10% (of their post tax earnings) as a rule of thumb.
2. Just because something is “a bargain” – doesn’t mean you need to buy it:
I often refer to this as “The Costco” mindset. Just because buying ketchup in bulk is a “great deal” – doesn’t mean you need 6 family sized bottles of ketchup! Being an educated consumer who looks for deals is admirable. But you’ve taken it too far, the moment you start justifying unnecessary purchases because something is “a bargain.” Shop for the lowest price possible, but don’t buy something you don’t need.
3. If you have time, start a side hustle:
With services like Fiverr and Upwork, plus Uber and Lyft, there’s a plethora of ways to earn additional income. Netflix is awesome, but try to spend less time watching TV and more time working on a project(s) that will provide you some financial freedom. If you can find something that’s a passion project, that’s an additional bonus. While it’s rare, there are plenty of people who discovered a more lucrative (and enjoyable) career by freelancing during their time off.
4. Start investing:
Some people have the misconception that only “rich people” invest their money. That’s just not true. There are plenty of reputable (and easy to use) investing platforms for people of all ages who are looking to make a return on their money. One of the more popular services is Betterment. Betterment is an automated investing service that essentially does all the heavy lifting for you. You simply set your risk level (they’ll help you with this as well) and they’ll take it from there. You can make changes whenever you want, but most investors are attracted to this service because it requires very little from its clients. The best part? Betterment has no minimum deposit to get started.
5. Payday doesn’t mean you’re rich:
Don’t let your money burn a hole in your pocket! Getting a large sum of money all in one shot can be exhilarating, but it can also be very dangerous if you forget about your other financial responsibilities. Just remember, that money is not free money. You had to work for it — and there’s a chance you had to work hard for it. So be wise when it comes to how you spend it!