Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Off to a smart start

"Oh to be young again!"
Have you ever heard someone older than you saying that? It's so true. Not that I'm old, I'm only 25 these days, but I have already learned some important points about money-unfortunately the hard way. I wish someone would have given me some tips when I was younger that would have been relevant to my young life and priorities. Especially since I was making the least amount of money in my life and having the least amount of things I need - thus creating an environment to fail (go into unnecessary debt).

The truth is, when you are first starting out on your own, you learn quickly that no one tells you what your priorities are! It's bitter sweet, really.

I've spoken on this blog before about finances and how to pay down debt. The big trick is, don't get into debt in the first place!

With the exception of your mortgage and your car, some simple planning can easily be the beginning of a debt free life! Some people are even finding, they are able to easily payoff their homes and cars in less time as well. Here are 10 simple tips to help you be more financially secure when you are young and just starting out:

-Know your income & find ways to add to it any way you can
-Figure out how much money you have to have each month just to pay the bills (timely)
-Figure out what you actually spend your money on (keep notes on everything for a month)
-Figure out a budget that ensures you are staying on time with payments
-Stay on your budget
-Trim your budget. You will soon see patterns of overspending - STOP IT
-Save EVERYTHING you can
-Make good decisions on purchases, who cares about keeping up with the Jones'
-Pay cash whenever at all possible
-Avoid surprises (get regular maintenance on everything, have good insurances, stock up on things you use when they are on sale, etc.)
-Look ahead! Think about future plans, trips, expenses, purchases, needs, family events and such, then save for these things!

The feeling is UNBELIEVABLE!!! I am right now planning my trip to Europe and I have been very disciplined with saving and planning for this expense. I don't want to go on this great trip and then get home and still have to make monthly payments on it, yucko!
You can get off to a smart start and the benefits will last a lifetime!


Marriage-101 said...

Good tips! I'm always struggling with money too. My eyes are bigger than my wallet.

BeccaGirl said...

I'm full of ideas, more than these!! I'd love to give you advice or tips. Just ask and I'd love to help out!