1. MAKE CONSISTENT ON-TIME BILL PAYMENTS. Making consistent on-time payments towards an installment loan or revolving credit is a great way to boost your credit score which helps put you at an advantage in the financial game. Managing your debt wisely is key towards finishing rich.
2. HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND. Many people do not have enough money saved up for a rainy day. It’s like walking in the rain without an umbrella, you are guaranteed to get wet! Just like the weather, life can be unpredictable. A sound emergency fund will help you weather the storms. It’s important to work towards saving at least three to six months of your monthly expenses.
3. CONTRIBUTE TO A RETIREMENT SAVINGS ACCOUNT. That “live in the moment” mentality can be an exciting way to live, but with the passing of each moment you should still be preparing for tomorrow. Contributing to your retirement savings account is a good way to help secure a comfortable lifestyle during retirement. You’ve paid your dues and put in the work so now it’s time to relax. Making those contributions from the earliest stages of your career is imperative to seeing a significant increase on the return of your investment. Your end goal should be saving at least 70% to 90% of your annual pre-retirement income.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO. Do not be a Yes man. Learn how to say no. Stand strong in your ability to say no. Every time someone has their hand out does not mean that you are required to over extend yourself to them. You should also learn how to tell yourself no. While you work hard and you deserve all the beautiful things life has to offer, you don’t need everything you think you deserve. Prioritizing your money to maximize your wealth should be an important goal and sometimes achieving that goal requires you to say no to a lot of people and things.
5. DON’T LET ANYONE USE YOUR CREDIT. If the person has issues managing their own money, what makes you think they will be responsible with yours? It’s better to gift money than to lend it to someone. If you are going to let someone charge something on your credit card, keep in mind that it’s your card, your debt and it affects your credit history. You will be responsible for on-time payments. Do not put the future of your financial history in someone else’s hands, especially someone who has not made their personal financial status a priority.
6. FOCUS ON YOUR NEEDS. Going for what’s required over what’s desired is crucial in the race towards finishing rich. Wasted money is a tragedy. Putting needs before wants is a good way to free up funds that can be placed in your emergency or retirement savings. Making good financial decisions for yourself starts with something as simple as paying off a credit card instead of putting an expensive pair of shoes on credit. It’s the small decisions like taking the subway instead of taking a cab that can make a world of difference in building a secure financial foundation over time.
7. SET FINANCIAL GOALS AND COMMIT TO ACCOMPLISHING THEM. Where do you see yourself financially in the future? Is this a question you ask yourself? Nothing will come to fruition if you don’t have a vision. It is important to set short-term and long-term financial goals for yourself. Take time to sit down and write out where you want to be in a specific period of time. Write down how you plan to get where you want to be, then take action! Don’t lose focus, commit to smashing your goals because the worst thing is to start broke and finish where you started.
8. LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS. In this social media era, it feels like everyone is out there trying to outdo the next person. Who has the better car? Who takes the most exotic trips? Who has the bigger house? Social media will make you feel like you are a contestant on a highly competitive game show. We cannot let our perception of the next person’s lifestyle deter us from our financial goals. Don’t go into debt trying to compete with someone who looks like they’ve finished rich when they are actually struggling to make ends meet.
You should not have more money going out than what’s coming in. Either increase your income or reduce your spending or actively do both. Avoid flatlining at your current income while your expenses steadily increase. Become aware of your debt to income ratio by adding up your monthly debt payments then dividing the sum by your monthly gross income which is income earned before tax.
9. DO NOT SUPPORT BAD HABITS. If you want support, you have to give it. But do not confuse being supportive with being an enabler. Enabling someone’s addiction from alcohol to gambling by funding their habits is doing a disservice to the person who needs treatment as well as to yourself. That is money you can put towards your emergency and retirement savings. That is money you can put towards your business. While we should show our love and support to our friends and family, do not become an investor in someone’s poor financial habits.
10. NEVER SETTLE. We should continuously and actively pursue bigger and better things according to our own standards. Settling never feels good, and that is why we should never settle. Once we meet our short and long-term goals, don’t stop there. Set newer, bigger goals. This is growth and this cancels out the entire idea of finishing rich because in life, there is no defined finish line. We should constantly raise the bar for ourselves to increase our standard of living.
Below is a suggested resource for good personal finance practices.
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