Guest Post: Staying Financially Responsible and Its Benefits to Your Budget

budget

Unfortunately, not everyone is born into money or wins it big enough to live off of interest for the rest of their life. Most people have to work at building a savings and maintaining it. It takes a lot of time and dedication to get your finances in order and learn to be responsible with your money. So, take a look at these three things that put you on the right path to financial freedom.

Create a Budget and Actually Use It

The number one thing you hear when it comes to being financially responsible is to create a budget to live within your means. However, there’s a difference between having a budget and sticking to it. Anyone can write their expenses down on a piece of paper and decide what to spend money on, but few people actually follow it. This is because debit cards make it easy to just purchase and forget without actually tracking anything.

So, if you want to create a budget and really use it, you should start by keeping a spending journal. This will help you see where your money is going and help you ultimately flesh out your budget. Then, you need to come up with a system that works for you in actually monitoring that you stay on track.

Don’t Go Into Debt for Things You Don’t Really Need

For most people, debt is just a part of life because there are certainly things you can’t save up enough money to afford without a loan. For instance, few people get through life without a car loan, student loan, or home mortgage. However, these are the only things you should ever go into debt for. Yes, there will always be things out of your control, like medical expenses, but you shouldn’t willingly go into debt.

Chop up your credit card if you have to. The best bit of advice is to take a second look at everything before you buy it to decide if you really need it and if you can actually afford to buy it.

Start Saving Money for Your Retirement Now

Lots of people don’t start to worry about their retirement until they are well into their 30s or 40s. This is a huge mistake because of a little thing called “compound interest.” For example, if you were to invest $500 per month into an investment account at age 30 (standard 11% rate) you would have about $400,000 by the age of 50. However, by investing the same amount ten years earlier at the age of 20, you would have about $1,400,000 by the age of 50. In ten years, that’s a difference of $1 million. So, the sooner you worry about your retirement, the better.

Most people should be able to take advantage of company retirement accounts. But if this isn’t an option for you, you can open up an individual IRA through your bank. You can learn more from Fisher Investments YouTube videos, too.

These are the three main things you can do to become financially responsible. Do you have any other helpful money management tips?

 Author Bio:

Cara Stromness has been contributing articles to various websites since 2008. Her specialties are finance, small business, job searches, social media, marketing, technology, and (surprisingly) crafts. You can check out her LinkedIn profile or read about her adventures on sewingandcraftcorner.com.

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