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- Understanding Finance
Basic Financial Advice, Ideas to Alleviate Debt, and Planning for the Future
Financial tips and advice
None of us knows the future or how things could change, so it makes sense to plan ahead and be as wise as we can with our money. Staying out of debt, and maximizing our income and making it grow are common goals. We can't rely on governments to take care of us, nor should we. Things are changing quickly with social security and on many fronts so its time to buckle down and get smart with money while also enjoying our days now.
Planning ahead in regards to finances doesn't have to do so much with money as it has to do with the decisions we make with our money. We make choices everyday in regards to what we spend money on or not, and even "not making choices" is a choice to put things off. Our needs in life require money, even for the most basic of needs. So there is no avoiding the decisions. How you make decisions can make or break the bank and how you get to live life. So first, make the decision to make better financial choices everyday. Putting off a little self gratification for the bigger picture is something that can bring you some satisfaction and is a wise thing to do.
Do your homework and make the decision to create some short term as well as long term goals. Never be afraid of making decisions and be flexible. These are the ways that people help to create their financial destinies. Remember, that procrastination never "pays" in regards to finances Your biggest goal might be to get in control of your finances so they don't control you.
Setting goals and getting there
Wouldn't we all love to win a multi-millions in the lottery or an equivalent? This isn't realistic however, and you need to consider your goals. To some people the idea of setting goals is unpleasant for whatever reason. A great first goal would be to aim for getting out of debt. If you only had one goal to aim towards besides generating income, it would be great to start with the one goal of getting out of debt as fast as you can. I am speaking of credit card debt there, and not so much like a mortgage though that is a good thing to pay off as well.
Write down your goals, what they cost approximately and make plans to get there. Some will be longer term goals, some shorter. Don't be overwhelmed by the numbers. Gather information, do homework and be wise everyday with your money. Don't let fear of making a mistake creep in to your thoughts. Even if you do make one, you have learned something valuable and it will help in making a better decision the next go around.
Some final tips
Like I stated previously, we don't know the future, so its wise to think ahead. Consider these things:
Realize you can' t have it all now, be patient.
Distinguish between needs and wants. Wants can wait and can drain your money away.
Don't live beyond your means, and thus get into debt. Live well within your means.
Save money as early in life as you can, and save often.
Make a budget and put savings at the top of the list.
Set some financial goals, even if very basic. Monitor them, and stay disciplined to keep them at the forefront.
Consider investing in a 401k, especially if your employer matches it.
Pace yourself, and resist the urge to compare yourself to others that may be a decade or a few ahead of you. Give it some time, and watch for results.