Stay Ahead of Your Financial Future

According to a recent study by Country Financial, two-thirds of Americans are worried about their financial future, worried that they will not be able to retire at all.  In fact, The Economic Policy Institute reports that half of Americans do not have any retirement savings, and even half admit that they do not factor saving for retirement into their financial goals.  That is a scary thought that in the upcoming decades there will be less and less people with anything to live off during retirement, other than Social Security, which isn’t much, if it is even there at all by the time you are of age.  In order to be the minority where you actually care about your future and plan accordingly, now is the time not only plan but stay ahead of your financial future.

Cut Expenses to Maximize Savings

We often hear that most live paycheck-to-paycheck, so it’s no wonder that there is no room for savings, but that doesn’t mean that those that are struggling are making the right decisions.  If you can reduce what you are spending, every dollar you free up can go towards saving, so you need to look at where your money is going so you know exactly what to cut.  If you take a look at your monthly statement and go line by line, you can start to put them in a category “necessary” or “unnecessary”, and add up to see how much you could have saved.  A good place to cut that is easily spent on is going out to eat.  If you can reduce that to even going out once a week, compared to multiple, you can save hundreds of dollars a month by eating at home.

Every Little Bit Helps

The more you can put aside now the better you will be off in the future, so although it may look like a small amount, it is worth it.  Some think that retirement is too far off to worry about now, but if you think about it, how long have you been out of college?  How long have you been married for?  It may seem like yesterday when you were entering in the working world or starting a family, so if time went by that quickly, imagine how fast it will go for retirement, and unless you start paying attention now, you will not have anything to live off of during the time you need to.  A work 401(k) account is a place where you should be regularly contributing towards now, and even some employers offer matching, so you should at least be contributing that much right now, otherwise you could be missing out on free thousands of dollars every year that would be huge to have when you need it down the road.  From there you can gradually increase contributions each year, or look to invest in a Roth IRA, which does not offer you the tax-savings now, but you will be able to withdraw tax-free in retirement, when you will need every dollar you can.

Start Your  Own Business

Saving money you earn at your day job is all well and good, but sometimes you want more for your financial future. I often times recommend starting your own business! I have been running a growing side business for the past 7 years and couldn’t be happier. It has allowed me financial freedom that I never thought possible. If you do venture down this path there are a few key things to keep in mind. First and foremost, have a business plan. It’s amazing how many small businesses fail early on simply because they lacked the proper planning. Second, don’t do everything on your own. There is a certain want and need to keep more of the money for yourself, but investing in necessary essentials like an accountant or a cloud-based ERP solution can benefit you in the long run. Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have enough capital and funding to keep you afloat the first year. Even a new business with a winning idea can flounder due to having a lack of capital until they turn that pivotal corner.

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