You probably have heard about the importance of saving and investing money but don’t exactly know where to start. Everybody has a different financial situation. Some people have debts, some aren’t making enough to save and others don’t have control over their spending habits. Fantasizing that someday you are going to hit a jackpot and then you will think about investing is just not going to help.
Since you are reading this, perhaps you have made up your mind to start taking your financial matters seriously. If that’s you, way to go! Whatever your financial situation is, you can still get your life on track, save money and eventually invest it too. Take a look at these tips useful money investment and saving tricks:
1. Set goals
The first step to investing or saving money is to have some goals. It isn’t enough to just say that you want to save money. Coming up with a plan is absolutely necessary especially if you want to put your money in the financial market.
So here is what you must do. Ask yourself what exactly should you save or invest before putting it away. With goal-based money management, it’s easier to manage your money and investments as you will know when you can afford to spend more and when not.
2. Pay yourself first
Pay yourself first means to save money before you do anything else. And no, it is not the same as spending money on yourself.
You always say that you will save some extra cash for an emergency fund or maybe even your colleague fee right? But somehow, another month goes by and you still haven’t saved. By the time you have paid for everything – groceries, utilities, maybe even a few lunches or dinners out, you aren’t left with enough money until you get your next paycheck. This cycle goes on and on. I am sure you can relate to this.
This needs to stop right away. No matter what happens, you must set a portion of your income aside. That’s the only way you will save. Don’t pay yourself last, pay yourself first.
3. Track your expenses
You will never handle how much you can save until you know how much you spend. It’s time you start keeping track of all your expenses especially the small ones like drinks, snacks, and coffee. It is these small expenses that add up.
Take a notepad, write your income and list down all the expenses. Make sure you have your monthly bank statement with you. If you are not a fan of doing the math then download savings and finance apps that help keep track of your spending and saving.
4. Embrace being on the budget
After you have listed down all your expenses, it must be pretty clear to you that there are lots of purchases you can cross out. It’s time to make the move and start living on a budget.
Creating a budget for yourself does not mean that you can’t spend money on having fun anymore. In fact, a well-designed budget is the one that has treats built into it. This budget will serve as a spending plan where you have to establish priorities about spending money. This will put an end to all impulsive purchases. So embrace the concept of going on a budget without the blues.
5. Save 10% of your salary
Ok, so you already know the importance of saving a percentage of salary for the emergency fund, retirement and so on. But how much are you saving? Experts say you must save 10% of your salary and don’t ever change that even if you get a raise.
6. Only make investments that you understand
The famous investor Warren Buffet says that it’s never a good idea to invest in the business that you don’t understand. He says if you are going to invest in a stock company, you must first understand how that company makes money and what are the main drivers that impact its industry. If you can’t understand all of that in 10 minutes, you must move to another option. In short, if it’s too complex for you, look for another investment option.
7. Avoid the get-rich schemes
If you are thinking of investing in a lottery and dreaming about getting rich, stop this instant. These shortcuts just make you lose money nothing else. If you want to invest and reap the best returns out of it, stay away from the get-rich schemes. I repeat, stay away no matter how real they seem!
8. Get creative, find more ways to make money
Apart from your full-time job, search for other ways to make money. Look for freelancing gigs or maybe even sell the extra things in your closet like jewelry, collectibles, extra car or even musical instruments. And hey, don’t spend that extra money, invest it instead.
9. Focus on the long-term
Regardless of the type of investment, it should always be in long-term. Investments should be made for long-term goals. Whether it is a stock or a business, it does not make sense to start expecting returns after 6 months. Yes, we all have a time frame for our investments and that differs from one goal to another but long-term investments give you the chance of getting more returns out of your money.
10. Before you invest, pay off the debt
If you have a debt, it’s fair to question ‘should I invest if I have debt? The answer is ‘No’, of course. Make sure you have paid off all the high-interest rate debts like a credit card debt. Once the debt is clear, you can start investing.
Now that you have learned all the above investing and saving tricks, it’s time to make a plan and get started. It will be useful to chat with a friend or maybe even someone in the family who can give you good financial advice. You only have to talk to them once or twice. Expert advice helps you keep your financial life on track. All the best for saving and investing.