Being financially independent should be a goal for all young adults. No matter what your goals are, learning smart money practices is still a good idea. Learning how to manage your money is one of the skills you will need in the future. As we age, we usually become wiser after making mistakes. We learn that there are smarter ways of doing things. One of those things is to learn how to be financially prepared for the unexpected.
There is no way to be fully prepared for what life throws at us since no one can really see the future. However, you can at least be better off if you’re financially ready for extra expenses. Here are some ways that you can achieve financial independence for yourself.
- Know your priorities. By knowing what is most important to you, you can then plan accordingly. Necessities are of great importance. You have to have at least some money to survive. If one of your goals is to buy a house, for example, you’ll need to build up your credit to obtain a mortgage later. When the time comes to start house hunting, you’ll be financially ready. You’ll also need to figure out what you want in a house in addition to making yourself ready to buy one. You’ll need to make sacrifices for things to be able to get other things that you want.
- Calculate your income and plan a budget. One smart way to plan your budget is to use the 50-30-20 rule. Half of your income should go towards your housing and necessities. Next is to set aside 30% of your income for spending money, such as vehicle fuel, entertainment, impulse spending, etc. After allotting spending funds, you should budget 20% of your income to go towards your savings and debt payments.
- Build up an emergency fund. If you follow the 50-30-20 rule, then the final 20% should be going into a savings account to plan for unexpected expenses. Emergency savings can help you to be prepared to handle your expenses if you would lose your job. After you have an emergency fund set aside, concentrate that 20% on paying off your debt.
- Saving for retirement early. Most companies offer a retirement plan as a part of their benefits package. Some employers will match your contributions into it. If your employer doesn’t offer retirement planning options, then you can also set up a retirement account on your own. You can research almost anything on the internet. There are likely thousands of websites that can offer useful information about investing. Some internet sources are not very reliable, so make sure you’ve got credible sources. Insider trades is a source that can help you to research investment opportunities. If you need more help with investing, a stockbroker handles investment portfolios. They can also help you with making your investment decisions.
- Look for ways to save money. Planning for your future is very important, but thinking about the present time is also important. Many people and companies may try to deceive you so they can make a quick buck. If you discover some ways to save money, you can then set your mind at ease. You can try bundling some services or switching to another company to save some money. Making the most out of your money is another source that can offer you some great financial advice and more.
- Look out for free tools that can help with budgeting. There are also many budget planning applications available for smartphones and other devices. Often you can receive financial services through your bank as well. Online banking and bill paying are some of the services that you can receive from banks.
Budgeting is critical in planning personal finances. There is a quote from Benjamin Franklin that applies to many concepts in life, “If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail.” No one wants to fail, but it does happen. So it is much better to be prepared for problems that can arise. Planning sometimes provides an extra cushion to help the person overcome financial hardships faster.