We all dream of earning more because we are convinced that with more money we would have that elusive financial freedom to live the glamorous life like the rich and famous. But here is the truth; more money won’t make your life easier or happier. The simplest way to get on top of your money mountain is to learn how to spend smart and invest shrewdly.
Look at your job as your most important investment
Forget about your house, your saving accounts or your money in the market, your job is the most important investment. It’s your earning power; without it, you couldn’t invest in anything else. And you should approach it as an investment, meaning you want to consider how much risk you’re taking and manage your other assets accordingly. If you are a commission-only, self-employed or freelancer then your job is riskier and you should consider being less aggressive with your other investments. If you earn a stable salary then you can afford to take more risk elsewhere.
Manage your spending
Research shows puts the money-happiness threshold at $75,000. As long as you have a roof over your head, a car to take you where you need to go, the ability to eat what you want, when you want it and some left to save and enjoy a few selected “wants,” then you’re set. A higher income won’t raise your level of satisfaction. However, how you spend and manage your money can make you happier. The more control you feel you have over your financial life, the happier you’ll be. Spending on experiences rather than things boosts the happiness quotient for most people as well, as does not letting other people’s spending habits affect yours.
The wealthy can afford debt, you can’t
The safest thing you can do is envy your rich neighbor’s ride and seemingly endless array of outfit options on Instagram. Social media has especially done damage to this generation’s spending habits: it is so sad that we are spending money that we don’t have to keep up this lifestyle that we think everyone else is living. Because we don’t see the whole picture we end up getting into debt just to keep up appearances. Don’t fall into that trap; the rich can afford debt but cant.
Know your value
Evaluate your worth on the open market and make sure it matches your earning. Next time you’re up for (or due) a raise or negotiating to change jobs do ask for exactly what you are worth. Actually most employers expect you to negotiate, and only half of applicants actually do.
Assess your finances
Know where your money goes each month and you’ll feel instantly on top of things. Get information for each bank account, loan, and investment; your account updates with every transaction to give you the latest picture of your finances and then make a budget.
Be your own breadwinner
A man is not a financial plan. So many women’s husbands and boyfriends have been laid off. It’s more important than ever that we take charge of our own finances.
Don’t pay too much in rent
There’s no quicker way to erode your financial foundation than splurging on a place you can’t afford. The rule of thumb: No more than 30 percent of your salary should go to rent. So get roommates or commute farther to work, but don’t start your financial life out of balance.
Make Small Changes at Home
Turn your fridge temperature up to 40 degrees and your freezer up to 0. Your food will stay fresh, but settings any colder increase your bill. Plug every appliance into an adaptor, not the wall. Switch to CLF (compact fluorescent lamp) lightbulbs; they use one-fifth the power of regular bulbs.
Skip the shopping cart unless you’ve got a family to feed. You’ll buy 40 percent more with a trolley than if you carry your purchases around.
Pass up samples. Eating releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical that heightens your senses, encouraging you to overspend.
Shop solo. Browsing with a friend triggers competition; you’ll be more objective alone.
Save for a rainy day. Make sure you have up to three to six months of expenses.
Skimp on the less important stuff. Always buy the generic mouthwash or the on-sale tissues.
Invest in a statement piece. A quality handbag lasts longer and makes you feel good every time you carry it.