Thanks to Jamie Wharton for this great guest post you can use as a check list to move in the right direction, if this is something you need to get in order.
Tips for Successful Money Management
Be Financially Prepared - Setting Up An Emergency Fund
Day in, day out, time is flying by and everything is going great. Next thing you know, a big storm rolls around and your ceiling starts to leak, or your bad day turns worse when you accidentally back into your garage.
These little surprises are more common than you’d think. Life’s costly little surprises can become a major hit on you financially. By growing an emergency fund, you can turn a huge debt pitfall into just a minor headache. Here are some tips on how to get started with building your fund.
Choosing a Target Amount
When setting up your fund, it’s important to balance how much you can afford to save along with how much you’ll need. If you haven’t started a budget yet, be sure to lay out your income and necessary expenses. Mint and YNAB (You Need A Budget) are two great tools to help you get started.
To start your emergency fund, set a financial goal that will completely cover a few months of the necessary expenses you laid out in your budget (rent, food, student loans, etc). The key is using your budget to make sure the amount you save works with how you live your life.
Understanding Your Debt
After paying all your bills on top of putting money into all of your loans, it can seem impossible to save. However, by understanding your debt, you can put yourself if the best position to spend less and save more in the long run. You could pay off your highest rate loans more aggressively, refinance them to a lower rate or consolidate them into one monthly payment. Companies like Earnest, allow you to refinance student loans not only with lower rates but the ability to customize your payment to fit your budget.
Make Automatic Contributions
The easiest part of a 401k is you set a percentage of your income, and the money is just withdrawn from every paycheck. Therefore, the best way to start an emergency fund is to take a piece of your income and place it into a separate account. This way, you won’t be required to save it manually or be tempted to use the money for unnecessary things. It’s pretty easy to have your employer’s payment system automatically transfer an amount from your paycheck into another account. If you don’t have that capability, you can set up automatic withdrawals from your checking to a savings account through your bank.
Earn Some Extra Cash
These days there are so many opportunities for you to earn some extra cash outside of your normal day to day. Whether you start photographing weddings, start driving for Uber, or sell health products to your friends and family, you can have the flexibility to save more without changing your lifestyle. You might even enjoy and become successful with your “side hustle” and turn it into your full-time job!
This blog is based on this book. In it are actionable ideas on being a better individual contributor and manager: The 1% Edge - The Workbook - Power Strategies to Increase Your Management Effectiveness
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