Sometimes in life, it seems like everything moves too fast for your financial situation. You have a job, you pay your utility bills, you invested in a Roth IRA just like your dad said to. So why does it feel like life still moves from paycheck to paycheck?
If you end each month with $5 in your pockets, you might be facing an unstable financial future. But with a few spending tweaks and some savvy investing, you can change the status of your financial relationship from on-the-rocks to out-of-the-doghouse.
Read on for a few tips to establish financial stability and keep the retirement dream alive.
If there were financial ABCs, B would be for Budget. By charting out income expectations and spending caps, you can eliminate most anxiety-inducing bank alerts.
New to the budget game? Take a recent month and calculate all of your spending and income sources on—you guessed it—a spreadsheet. Seeing your expenses neatly laid out can reveal culprit spending patterns (it’s surprising how quickly Grubhub deliveries add up, isn’t it?).
More Gen Z than Gen X? Smartphone apps like Mint are a great resource to begin budgeting at your very fingertips. No matter how you track your spending, doing so will help cut out the purchases draining your bank account.
#2 GET LOW (WITH RISK)
Ever heard the phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? A riskier investment (a large stock purchase from a single company, an unlocked mortgage rate, etc.) can seem smart during a strong economy. But when the fun runs out, your finances may soon come crashing down.
Here are some more stable and long-term investment options:
- Treasury bonds – Safe and with a lengthy growth period, government bonds are ideal low-risk investments. Even if profit margins are lower, they are practically guaranteed.
- Fixed mortgage rates – If your income fluctuates, slap the realist goggles on and keep the 2008 crash in mind. Choosing a fixed-rate mortgage will buffer you from a tanking economy or secondary market volatility risk.
- Mutual money market fund – You’ve probably been told to buy up a particular stock, now. Smile, nod, and then run in the opposite direction. Instead of pouring money into a single stock option, choose a mutual fund that diversifies your investment for optimal stability and growth.
#3 SHAKE UP YOUR MODEL
Personal finances are hard enough, but running a business’ finances? That’s a whole other story. If your company’s profits are rocky, it’s time to change your payment model.
Between TV, music, and snack boxes, we are in the golden age of subscription services. Upfront purchases are clear and immediate, but they don’t guarantee customers returning. Switch your sales to a subscription model, and you could cut customer churn by almost half.
Stuck in a cash-only business? Expand your payment options with card-reading technology like Square. With contactless payment options, it’s perfect for the current times.
#4 CHECK OUT THE JOB BOARDS
We’re not saying to run back to grad school here. When it comes to boosting income, look at areas where you can use the skills you have, not spend money on chasing new qualifications
Need inspiration beyond the classifieds? Read on for ways to diversify your revenue:
- Go digital – Despite all the trolling, the internet can be a source of good. If you have a sellable service or product, open freelance or market sites can grow your customer base immensely.
- Run advertisements – Got a blog? A car? Even a front lawn? Advertisements come in many forms, and companies could pay top dollar for a coveted, popular space.
- Start a home business – If having a second job sounds like management overload, then cut out the middleman and be your own boss. Jobs in affiliate marketing, childcare, and website design can all be solo ventures.
SLOW & STEADY WINS THE RACE
If there’s a mantra for stabilizing your finances, it’s slow down. Spending too fast and investing too quickly can sabotage your financial growth. With these tips, we hope you can place a little more confidence in your personal finances. Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know!