Thinking outside the box is a cliché often overused. However, this is exactly what is required when one truly is searching for long-term strategies to utilize in improving one’s personal finances. We have all been schooled in the importance of careful budgeting. Developing a plan for retirement and major purchases is at the forefront of any viable savings strategy. Reducing our daily expenses while finding ways to increase our personal revenue is integral in any personal finance plan. However, there are ways to improve one’s personal finances that are not covered in any financial self-improvement manual.
By examining our lifestyles and determining where our money is being spent month in and month out will lead to creative ways to alleviate financial drain to our personal wealth. How much money is being spent on the basics of food, shelter, transportation, energy and entertainment? Which of these basic needs can be addressed in a more lucrative and long-term manner to better our money management? Let’s just examine a few novel ideas that may springboard to general long-term savings.
For example, we all have energy needs. The power companies are collecting huge monthly checks from most American households. Perhaps using an alternative source of energy can not only reduce but in some cases actually add to our overall monthly revenue. Solar Panels are a truly efficient way to augment our energy needs. Not only is this product cost effective, it can pay huge dividends over the long-term by providing a means that the consumer can actually sell back to the power company any excess power generated. Once the cost of the initial investment is covered, the rest is pure savings and profit.
Entertainment is also a major source of expense for most American households. Rather than spend your money going to movies or to resorts or beaches, perhaps the inclusion of a home theater system or a backyard swimming pools could reduce your long-term expenses by providing entertainment options at home. There are many options for purchasing a home theater system that is a quality product via the internet that can truly add entertainment options for your family. Today, the television is not only for watching TV shows, but it is a movie theater, a game center, a video center and a computer screen as well. Swimming pools can be purchased in kits via the internet and this option provides a low cost alternative to expensive trips and weekly entertainment.
Personal finance involves more than a financial strategy. It involves a lifestyle that reflects your financial values. With just a few key changes in your lifestyle, one can greatly improve their financial outlook.
Keeping your personal finances in order is not a difficult as you might believe. With the economy as challenging as it has been over the last few years, this goal is exceedingly important for many American households. Incomes have not risen and the job market is tough. In times like this, personal finances do not leave room for mismanagement. Certain key strategies can prove invaluable in maintaining your financial welfare.
First and foremost, create a realistic household budget. It is imperative that you understand where your money is going and control how you spend your assets. A realistic budget should include a list of all your pertinent assets i.e. monthly income by paychecks, alimony or child support, and any other monthly income. You must also list all of your monthly expenditures necessary for your daily life. This list must be as comprehensive as possible and it must accurately mirror your spending habits. The difference between these two ( income vs expenditures ) is the net amount you have to work with to develop your longer range plans. Remember to analyze your expenditures to make sure it reflects the spending in areas you deem important. Once you determine your excess net income, you can then plan to invest your money for future goals.
There are a number of easy investment basics. This is simply a strategy to increase the value of your money over time. Saving your money in a lockbox is not an investment strategy. You must determine which investment vehicles are best for you and they must pay compounded interest on the money invested. There are many different investment vehicles to choose from.
Perhaps the oldest is investing your money in real estate. Acquiring stocks in certain companies is perhaps the most common investment. You can do this by purchasing directly from a company of by purchasing mutual funds or IRAs where multiple stocks are combined in a single, managed fund and your return is based on the average of all the funds. Bonds are quite popular because they are generally a safer investment when backed by the U.S. government. Precious metals like gold and silver are still a popular investment as well. More savvy investors will also speculate in the currency or futures market as well. These strategies must be determined by your personal assessment of risk. If you require a safe and risk free investment, then bonds and mutual funds are probably more to your liking. Other investments described above could involve more risk.
Building a portfolio and hedging your bet is always a sound strategy. It is always best to use a combination of investments to hedge against a certain segment of your investments taking a downturn. Hedging your bet represents good, sound business acumen.
Finally, it is always a good idea to elicit the advise of a trustworthy investment manager to help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.
Welcome to the Won’t Cost Dollars Personal Finance blog! My name is Jennifer Prebles and it is my pleasure to welcome you to my new financial advice blog. The overall purpose of my blog is to write about personal finance topics that I have experience in as a financial adviser. I plan on sticking to topics that will help everyday people. There are plenty of things to write about when it comes to personal finance, so I shouldn’t come up too short on topics. I hope you enjoy reading the Won’t Cost Dollars Personal Finance blog!