Financial management is just as important to your overall wealth and lifelong savings as your income. In some cases, it can be even more important, because as your wealth increases, more and more of that income tends to come in the form of investment dividends and interest payments on yield-bearing accounts.
Getting to the point where the income from a career is secondary can be difficult, but there are a few daily changes you can make to get on the right path. There are also a lot of public finance professionals who make a point of creating resources designed to help others get ahead in their personal finances.
Building a strong personal financial management plan means not only having a cost-effective cash flow through your household and a good savings plan, it also means knowing how to research new opportunities and take advantage of them.
1. Consolidate and Cost-Cut
The first thing you can do to make your income go further and free up investment capital is to figure out where you are overpaying for goods and services.
Can you consolidate your home and mobile internet with an unlimited 4G package that includes WiFi? Can you combine insurance policies to create a comprehensive home, auto, and personal asset plan instead of paying for separate services? Look to the places where your overhead has fat that can be trimmed without losing anything first.
You’ll be surprised by what you can find for savings, especially if you’ve recently married but you haven’t consolidated cellular plans or insurance coverage quite yet.
2. Budget Your Disposable Income
Contrary to what some personal finance gurus who don’t actually work in the financial industry will tell you, cutting all your creature comforts in the name of saving money won’t actually do you any good.
First of all, the loss of those comforts creates stress, which can affect your decision-making in many ways, including through loss of sleep or increased emotional instability. That means you’re not doing your best.
It also means you’re not able to support your needs in the moment as you work through day to day obstacles.
3. Use the Budget To Cut Extra Expenses Wisely
Instead of cutting to the bone, figure out what you need for walking-around money and what you have available for entertainment after your core household costs and savings goals are met. Then reconsider choices about where that money goes.
It might mean giving up a streaming service or two in favor of a consolidated set of services you use more often, or a similar shift. Giving up extra expenses isn’t off the table, you just want to choose wisely when you let them go.
Financial professionals who work with both individuals and businesses like Kathryn Eytle Mclean often advise this kind of cost-benefit analysis before any kind of budget adjustments, to make sure that what is retained is working as well as possible for everyone affected by the change.
Consistent Investment Is Key
Whether you’re putting money together to get into something basic like mutual funds or you’re growing your nest egg toward a major stake in a business that’s seeking ground-floor sponsorship, some of the same basic principles apply to grow that wealth.
The first is consistency in your savings. If it’s a matter of investing more frequently in smaller amounts or less frequently but a larger total investment at the end of the year, remember that missing a deposit is easier the bigger they are and the less often they happen.