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When it comes to determining good versus bad as it relates to money and how you save and spend it, chances are you have a hard time deciphering between the two.
What is good to some, might be a head-scratcher for others. What one considers bad might actually be not all that crazy to others.
But for the most part, money and how we save it or spend it, has at least a few common denominators that everyone can agree is just downright dumb to implore as part of your everyday habits.
Have you ever purchased something you really didn’t need, but bought it anyway for whatever reason you justified at that moment?
Take for instance the average consumer, and when they have a perfectly good flat screen, LCD TV from about five years ago, but instead decide to invest in a 4K TV or smart television for somewhere in the neighborhood of a few thousand dollars. That logic is what leads to credit card debt and having yet another payment versus just enjoying what is already in front of you. Furthermore, even if you buy the television outright, your are still down thousands when that money is best served in your savings account.
Spending improperly is poor decision making personified, but what about those lengthy list of consumers that just give up. And by that, they’ve decided that they’re going to move out of their house and not pay their mortgage anymore, or they’re paying their bills when they feel like it, or not at all.
They’re not going anywhere and those once per week phone calls from debt collectors that want their money are going to get revved up to daily contacts if you let your bills slide much longer. Your credit report is going to suffer and that means so long to the idea of borrowing money for a home or car. Once those bills go to collections, your credit score in negatively affected, which is around 30 days that a bill is overdue.
Almost as bad as not paying your bills is taking what debt you have and not doing much to pay it off or you’re just running in circles with what you deem as progress. Forget balance transfers as your means to an end or paying for groceries or other bills with a credit card. To truly get out of debt, you need to allot a certain amount to put toward those bills but more so about cutting on expenses then trying to play the interest rates game.
Not everyone tackles money the same, but those in the know realize right away what it means to be careless with their cash.
How many of you actually thought about retirement in your 20s or made it a point to put aside a certain percentage of dollars of that paycheck to some sort of savings account?
The answer: not many, if any in fact looked at that particular time in their life from a budgeting, money, financial and job perspective and made it a point think about resting comfortably on the beach at 65 or having to take a job after you “retire” because financially you just weren’t ready to say so long to consistent work.
Perhaps the time when all the importance of money and saving it truly sinks in is when you reach your 30s, a time period where you might be settling down, getting married, having a family and anything else that starts to pertain to the future.
So what exactly should you be doing to save money in your 30s?
Aside from thinking about investing your money into a retirement fund at the office or thorough work (or even doing one on your own if that isn’t available), you have to start mind your money more so than you did 10 years ago.
A huge misstep for any would be financial wizard and especially for those in their 30s is not having a means to budget how you’re spending or saving, and if the two are working in harmony with one another.
Most money savers who have wonderfully positive intentions simply can’t manage to put aside more than a few dollars literally, but only because they aren’t sure what they’re spending money on and how to save beyond trying haphazardly.
Writing down expenses, income and matching the two up in a simple spreadsheet is saving money gold for 30 years olds who have never really thought about doing anything more with extra money than hanging out and dropping some cash with their buddies.
And as long as you’re putting together a budget, you might want to consider going without for a while when it comes to luxuries you enjoyed in your 20s but can live without going forward. Maybe that entertainment aspect and allowance in your budget gets smaller and instead the extra income goes toward some sort of 401K or IRA that you’ve opted to create to better serve you down the road.
Just because you turn 30 doesn’t mean that you suddenly have to stop having fun and immediately assume that your 60s is right down the road. What it does translate into is having the wherewithal and understanding that this is the best time to get ahead of the curve and put money as the priority it finally needs to be.