Regardless of the rhetoric that you often hear, for most people, the amount of money in the bank is not completely unrelated to happiness. While the relationship is not necessarily direct, and more money does not necessarily translate to more happiness, studies indeed suggest a correlation. According to the research, there appears to be an ideal minimum amount of money conducive to happiness. This makes sense, given how deeply integrated money is in the functioning of society.
Life can be a struggle for the person who lacks the funds to cover necessities like groceries or pay rent. This is supported by the work of psychologist Abraham Maslow, in the conceptualization known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. However you choose to think about it, there are clear advantages to having more disposable income. Below are several things that you can do now to fix your finances.
Invest in Your Own Education
This does not necessarily mean going to school per se, as college tuition is arguably just as much a source of financial strife as it is a remediation of it. There are tons of resources available online for your own personal financial education which won’t cost you a dime. Sites like Investopedia are great resources for teaching yourself about bank statements, different savings accounts, or taxes.
Training yourself to go on these sites to learn about finances might not seem like the most riveting way to spend your time, but rest assured that this is time well-spent. Even devoting as little as 30 minutes to an hour every day to read about a topic can give you a serious leg up if you maintain the habit.
Put Your Money In Different Places
Any financial advisor will tell you it’s a good idea to put your savings into different assets. The last thing you want is to have all your money in the form of cash stuffed under your mattress. In this case, all it would take is a stray cigarette butt for you to be homeless and penniless. Putting your money into different places safeguards against the disasters that plague people who put all their money in one place.
Liquid investments refer to those which allow quick withdrawal of funds. Cash, stocks, and bonds are considered liquid because they are easily retrieved and translated into usable money. It would also be a good idea to diversify your investments within this category. Create a healthy, stable stock portfolio that includes different sectors of the market. Stocks are a great opportunity to accumulate wealth over time, and you might be surprised at how many people miss out on it.
Static investments refer to things that take longer to turn into actual currency you can use. This would include real estate or other valuable property. These investments take a little longer to turn into money in your wallet. Investing in rental real estate properties can provide both cash flow and capital appreciation and can be a powerful way to use leverage to build wealth.
While getting a loan for a house can help set you up for a secure personal and financial future, it can be tough or downright impossible if your credit score is less than satisfactory. Some law firms specialize in credit repair for just such a scenario. A legal consultation can help diagnose the problems and help construct a firm foundation onto which you can accumulate personal wealth and assets. A poor credit score can cost you more in higher interest rates, lost job opportunities and more.
Envision The Future You Want and Take Action
Visualizing exactly what you want out of life is important, and many people don’t realize it before it is too late. If you want to buy a nice house by the beach or drive a Ferrari by the time you are 40, break down the task into manageable chunks and create realistic milestones. Figure out how much you need to set aside every month and every year, and take the necessary steps to reach your goals.
It’s a good idea to set a budget for yourself every month to see what kind of money you are currently saving (if any) and whether or not you would like to improve on that. There’s no sense in living in a nice apartment in the city if you are barely staying afloat financially. Consider living in a more modest abode or driving a less fancy car as an investment. You might feel cool driving a brand new BMW, but you’ll feel proportionately awful if you can’t buy groceries when the transmission fails.
Rethink Your Cable Plan
Aside from the amount of time you probably waste watching pointless TV shows, the monthly cable bill can add up. In addition, many people are turning to online streaming content from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Sling TV as a cheaper alternative and not looking back.
Impress Your Date With Creativity
Dinner at a fancy restaurant is a go to for first dates, but they often come at a staggering financial toll. Don’t accept the status quo for dates. Looking for frugal date ideas? Going for a hike or out on a picnic for a first date is a great way to spend time with that someone special and can be a low cost alternative to a traditional sit-down dinner.