9 Steps To Financial Freedom
When you’re in a family, the costs of the day to day running of things can seem to spiral out of control. With a mortgage, taxes, and bills, just living day to day means spending money. But you might be making some money mistakes without really thinking about them. If you are, they can be costing you money that you don’t need to spend. So here are some money mistakes to look out for, so that you won’t make them again in the future. The savings you can make can be quite significant! So here is what to avoid:
You’re Not Changing How You Do Your Taxes
If you are married, then are you filing your tax return jointly? I’m not saying that you have to should you chose not to. But it can save you quite a bit and be beneficial to save money. There are programs and software that you can use to check if you would be better filing your tax report jointly. So that is worth looking into before you do anything. Then, of course, you’ll need to check things at work and complete the right paperwork. But for a small amount of paperwork, it can mean a significant saving.
You’re Not Talking About Your Financial Goals
Whatever kind of family situation you are in, it is worth talking about your financial goals. You and a partner need to talk about the goals that you have and perhaps compromise if need be. It can be tricky if one of you likes to save and one of you is always looking for the next vacation to book. But talking and being open is key to making sure you’re on the right page with things. If you have children, then get them involved in the conversation too. They need to know if there are specific things that you are saving for, so they can understand why you might not be spending in some areas. You can get them involved with doing some of the saving too. It all helps and starts them talking about money from early on. So if you’re not doing it already, talk about your finances and about your financial goals.
You’re Not Being Open About Money
On a similar note, you need to talk about money with your partner and family. If you’re not being open about it, how do you know that they are being open about it either? You need to know if there is some debt to clear, for example. Otherwise, you might expect them to be paying for more, unaware of the debt, which can lead to more dent on their part. When you’re open about it, you can resolve to clear it and set money aside each month to do so. Clearing debt is a great way to save, as well as relieve stress and burden. So talking about money, what you earn, and setting a budget, is all important when you want to live within your means.
You’re Not A Savvy Shopper
There is no getting away from the fact that you will need to spend money on essential things. But are you shopping in a way that saves money on those things that you actually do have to buy? Think about things like a cash back credit card or using a credit card that gives you points for things like air miles or money off coupons. Then you will at least be getting some money back for the shopping that you are doing. Shopping online is a great way to save money too. You can spend more time browsing as you can go back and forth. So it makes it much easier to look for a good deal. It also allows you to use coupon sites like DontPayFull.com, for instance, as well other exclusive discounts that you won’t find in a store. If you choose to shop in store, then you should at least look out for coupons where you can. Why pay more if you don’t have to? So getting more savvy when you shop is a great way to save money. Have you tried any of these tips before?
You Don’t Have a Budget
If you don’t have a budget, then you’re going in the right way to get into debt. Setting a budget, and then living within that budget, is really key to avoiding debt. So with a notebook or spreadsheet, take some time to go through your income, as well as your outgoings. From there, you can decide what you have leftover each month. Can you spend less on groceries, for example? Is there any money to put aside for savings? It is going to be different for everyone. What is the important part is that you need are setting a budget and then sticking to it.
You’re Not Saving
As with setting a budget, you should include saving as part of that. If you’re not putting anything aside to save at the moment, then it can lead to financial trouble later on in an emergency. You don’t have to have something specific in mind to be saving for. You just need to make sure that you are saving. So look at your budget and decide what you can part with at the end of each month. It will make a big difference to your financial situation.
Similarly, you need to be planning for the future. If you don’t yet have children but want to, then do you have money to help you achieve that? Would you be able to manage on one income if one of you chose to stay back at home with the children? Are you saving for a pension or retirement? It might seem like a long way off, but it can make a big difference to your future if you start planning for it early on. It is never too early to plan for your, and your families, future.
You’re Living Paycheck To Paycheck
I know that this is a reality for many of us. But if it can be avoided, then it really does make a difference in your life. So as part of your budget and plans then allow yourself to always have a backup amount of money. Even if it is only something like $100, it will allow you some freedom should an unexpected bill come up that month. You want to enjoy life, not just endure it by living each month to each month.
You Don’t Understand the Importance of Your Credit Score
If you just dismiss any talk of credit scores, then you could be making a huge mistake. Credit scores are a very real thing and do have an effect in your life. From an early age, talking about this with children and teens is a good idea. As where will they learn it if not from you? But from early on, if you miss credit card payments or keep going over your limit, it does have a knock on effect. It can mean you have trouble getting a mortgage or even something like a cell phone contract. So you want to keep track of your credit score. There are also some things that a lot of people don’t think about when it comes to their credit score. But if yours is bad, then the chances of you getting approved for another credit card or loan are quite minimal. And did you know that each time you’re declined for something like that, it affects the score? So you need to be aware of your credit rating, so that you don’t inadvertently make it worse. Do you know what your credit rating is like at the moment? If not, there are different forums, like FreeCreditScore.com, for instance. It is better to know what your score is, so that you can deal with it.
You Don’t Have Life Insurance
This can sound a bit morbid to talk about, but what would happen if you were to unexpectedly die? This can be an especially poignant question if you have young children; how would they be cared for? Of course, a will is a great idea too, as it will let everyone know about your wishes. But life insurance is what will help to pay for your wishes to happen. If you want your children to remain in the family home with a guardian, things like life insurance will help to cover costs. It can also help to cover costs like funeral costs too. You wouldn’t want to leave that with people to do for you and make things a financial strain for them. So if you don’t have any life insurance at the moment, then now is the time to get some.
So if you don’t have any of these things in place, then now is the time to sort things. It can help your life to be less stressful when you take charge of your finances. It can be easy to put these kinds of thing off but deal with it today, and it will make a difference.