How to Manage Personal Finances Successfully for Beginners
Realistically speaking, your personal finance situation plays a crucial role in your life. As you grow up, you need to manage personal finances successfully in 2022 and have a stable financial health in order to achieve your dreams and goals in life. In short, if you want to be successful someday, you’ll need enough money to do that. These tips are not complicated and designed to help you. Read on!
To make this happen, you just need to spend less time on TikTok and other social media platforms and get started! Even though you may hear of content creators earning millions of dollars they are relatively few and far between.
Primarily, personal finance includes the process of saving, investing, and managing your money in a more practical and efficient way.
The best part is, you don’t need to be an expert to expertly manage your personal finances and accrue a good amount of money long term.
So, if you want to become financially healthy throughout the different stages of your life, below are a few tips you should consider to successfully manage your personal finances:
1. Write Down Your Financial Goals
The first step toward a successful personal finance management is to specifically write down your financial goals.
Whether you want to start up a business, go on a month-long trip abroad, buy a new house and move there, all of these things should be detailed as they can significantly affect your financial situation.
You wouldn’t build a house without laying a proper foundation — and the same goes with your finances.
When you write down your short-term and long-term goals, you can have an idea as to how much money you should save in order to attain them.
This is taking some baby steps toward attaining financial freedom, but everyone has to start somewhere.
2. Create A Budget
Once you’ve figured out your financial goals, the next thing to do is to make a realistic budget.
When you have a budget in place, you’ll know how much you’re willing to spend for all the expenses, how much you should allocate for each expense, and how much money you’re earning every month. The more you know the figures of your budget, the better you can assess which areas you should focus on and which one to set aside.
For example, if you’re planning to purchase a car, condo or house anytime soon, you may need to cut back on some items in your budget to cover the down payment.
These can include the costs associated with hiring a reliable mortgage company, lender, or wherever you may be, buying packing supplies, and other related expenses.
Thus, if you have plans in the coming months, be sure to include them in your monthly budget so you’ll have enough money to cover the costs when the time comes.
3. Pay Off Your Debts
Whether you believe it or not, having debts can prevent you from achieving financial stability in the near future. Because of this, it can be a good idea to make paying off your debts a priority.
For example, while you allocate money to your debt accounts, you pay an extra money toward a certain debt at a time. Once you’re done paying the highest debt you have, you transfer to another account until everything is paid off.
After clearing all of your monetary obligations, it’s best if you stay out of debt to avoid incurring another batch again. It could help if you leave your credit cards in a drawer, so you’ll not be tempted to use them again and make a purchase.
Additionally, if you’re looking for other ways to eliminate your debt, then you can opt to sell unused items to earn extra money that can be used for debt payments. You can also choose in which area you can cut your budget to allocate more money for your debt payment plan.
4. Set Up an Emergency Fund
Another way of successfully managing your personal finances is to have an emergency fund in place. It usually refers to a certain amount of money being set aside to cover unexpected expenses. When you have emergency funds, there’s nothing to worry as it creates a financial buffer that can help you keep financially afloat in times of need.
For example, if you have a medical emergency and you don’t have enough money to pay your bills, you can use your emergency fund to cover the expenses.
Therefore, if you want to ensure you have money in times of financial distress, you should never hesitate to create an emergency fund as early as you can. Doing so can give you peace of mind financially.
It’s easy to put your fund into a standard savings account, but this earns almost no interest.
Put your fund in a high-yield savings account, short-term certificate of deposit (CD), or money market account.
Otherwise, inflation will erode the value of your savings. Just make sure the rules of your savings vehicle permit you to get to your money quickly in an emergency.
5. Know Where your Money Goes
Once you’ve gone through a few personal finance books, you’ll start to realize how important it is to make sure that your expenses aren’t exceeding your income.
The best way to do this is by budgeting as we mentioned above.
Once you see how the cost of your morning coffee adds up over the course of a month, you’ll realize that making small, manageable changes in your everyday expenses can have as big an impact on your financial situation as getting a raise.
A budgeting planner is a great idea to keep you on track and get started.
In addition, keeping your recurring monthly expenses as low as possible can save you significant money over time.
Even if you can swing an amenity-packed apartment now, picking something more in your budget could let you afford to own a condominium or house sooner than you otherwise would.
6. Set up an Investment and Retirement Fund
Even though you may balk at the idea of retirement, you need to plan for your retirement well in advance. Because of the way compound interest works, the sooner you start saving, the less principal you’ll have to invest to end up with the amount that you need to retire.
Why should you start saving now for retirement?
Here’s an Investopedia example: You start investing in the market at $ 100 a month, averaging a positive return of 1% a month or 12% a year, compounded monthly over 40 years.
Your friend, who is the same age, doesn’t begin investing until 30 years later and invests $ 1,000 a month for 10 years, also averaging 1% a month or 12% a year, compounded monthly. After 10 years, your friend will have saved up around $ 230,000.
Your retirement account will be a bit over $ 1.17 million. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Investing your money can help you turn one dollar into many more, giving you the ability to build wealth without having to work harder. Thanks to compound interest and a variety of investment vehicles, you can decide where to put your money.
One type of investment vehicle that can help diversify your money is a mutual fund, which gets money from investors and pools it together into a fund. These funds invest in various securities like stocks, bonds, and short-term debt. Mutual funds are often actively managed, but not always.
Here’s how to get started investing in mutual funds.
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Research types of mutual funds
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a mutual fund is an open-end investment company that is registered with the SEC and gathers money together from various investors to put into asset classes like stocks, bonds, and more.
When you invest in mutual funds, you end up purchasing shares of the mutual fund that reflects partial ownership of the total portfolio.
Mutual funds are baskets of various stocks with a common theme behind them. For example, technology stocks or health stocks.
There are many different types of mutual funds that you can invest in:
- Stock funds: These invest in a company’s stock. There are some nuances within stock funds, including those that focus on investing in a company’s stock, growth-focused stocks based on financial returns, income-focused stocks that produce dividend payouts, stock funds based on certain sectors, as well as index funds that track specific indexes and seek to produce similar results.
- Bond funds: This is a type of investment company that’s focused investing in bonds and debt securities. The risk related to bonds can differ depending on the bond. As an investor, the SEC recommends that you consider the credit risk if the bond issuer fails to pay back debt, how interest rate fluctuations will affect the value of a bond fund, as well as prepayment risk and what will happen if the bond issuer pays back the bond earlier than anticipated.
- Money market funds: These have the least risk and invest only in particular investments that are issued by the US government or corporations.
- Target-date funds: These contain a combination of stocks and bonds that aim to help you retire by a certain date, called target-date funds. They can also be referred to as lifecycle funds as well. The asset allocation will shift over time depending on the overall goal.
In many cases, mutual funds are actively managed by an investment professional. But it’s possible to invest passively in mutual funds as well, typically called an index fund.
Also: keep in mind that mutual funds can be index funds — and vice versa.
Below is a post on 10 money saving and investing apps that you can put on autopilot and invest automatically each month without lifting a finger.
Control Your Personal Finances
If you don’t learn to manage your money, then other people will find ways to mismanage it for you.
Some of these people may be ill-intentioned, like unscrupulous, commission-based financial planners. Others may be well-meaning but may not know what they’re doing, like Grandma Betty, who really wants you to own your own house even though you can only afford one by taking on a risky adjustable-rate mortgage.
Instead of relying on others for advice, take charge and read a few basic books on personal finance.
Once you’re armed with knowledge, don’t let anyone catch you off guard—whether it’s a significant other who slowly siphons off your bank account or friends who want you to go out and blow tons of money with them every weekend.
Should you invest in Cryptocurrency?
Right now, crypto especially Bitcoin and Ethereum are hot topics. Some lean on the side of them being too volatile and warn of a potential crypto bubble burst. Others, like myself are big believers in cryptocurrency and think it is the ‘Internet of Money’ and just in its beginning phases.
I would advise that you educate yourself as much as possible on crypto and if you do decide to invest, the rule of thumb is to invest no more than 1% of what you can.
I highly recommend Robert Breedlove on YouTube who runs the ‘What is Money‘ podcast for a wealth of information and the history of fiat currency, inflation and money as a whole. I guarantee you’ll learn more than you ever knew or wanted to know about money and how the whole system works.
Personal Finance – The Bottom Line
How to manage personal finance is essential to every individual, regardless of which stage in life you’re at.
You may think it’s too early to be concerned about such things and now is the time to have fun and enjoy yourself. But keep in mind that the more you can put towards your future finances the more you can reap the benefits of what you have earned. You can savor life without being overburdened with these thoughts of money constantly hounding you.
When you know how to efficiently and automatically work on and work out your personal finances, you’ll be able to reach your dreams without worrying about where your next paycheck is coming from.
Remember, you don’t need any fancy degrees or a special background to become an expert at managing your finances.
If you use these simple financial rules and financial tips for your life, then you can be as personally prosperous as someone with a hard-earned MBA in finance.
So, to prepare yourself toward having a financially secure and stable life, be sure to follow the tips mentioned above and you’ll be on the right direction. Lastly, the more you can successfully manage your personal finances, the more you can secure your future, obtain your wishes, and that of your family even in your ripe old age.