Everyone wishes to be financially independent and secured, particularly when it comes to planning for their retirement. Nevertheless, for youngsters this often is the last thing they’d think about; at least before they enter into their 30s.
After all, with the pressure of all the pricey “firsts” like purchasing a house, buying a car, starting a family, it becomes difficult to even think about saving money for future.
But, this mind set actually needs to change and every youngster has to begin working towards financial security in order to secure their future. This alone is enough to alleviate a big deal of stress and anxiety, which comes when you enter your adulthood.
Truth be told, financial insecurity can easily turn out to be a serious source of stress, however, managing your funds should not feel like a chore and when dealt with wisely you’re bound to live longer and a happier life.
Does this mean that you may have to forfeit your short term goals so as to realise the long term ones? No you don’t have to. It is all about preparing a financial budget and being responsible with your own expenditure habits.
Simply following these smart ways will ensure that you’re achieving financial security without having the need to actually deprive yourself of anything. These ways will also point out the right direction to you, if your goal is to be financially secured before you enter your 30s.
Most importantly you can achieve this financial security without having to give up too much on your pastimes and other favoured activities so long as you budget in the right way.
- Recognise your most essential financial asset: Yourself
Remember that the knowledge, skills and experience that you have are your biggest assets. The worth of your future income can easily dwarf any of your investments or savings, which you may have for most of the career. Your future career and job are some of the most vital aspects that could possibly help you to achieve financial security and independence. For individuals who have just entered the workforce, their future career chances are as bright as they’ve always been. With large number of retiring baby boomers it is expected to create labour shortage, which is why there’ll perhaps be more room for advancement, since companies will scramble to fill in empty positions.
Take a look at yourself as a financial asset. Invest in yourself and it will definitely pay off in the future. Raise your worth through hard work, by continuously improving your skills and knowledge, and of course by making some of the best career choices. Put in efforts in order to enhance your career, as it could have a huge impact on your financial security; instead of tightening your belt by trying to save money.
- Become a planner and not a saver
Studies have revealed that individuals who plan for their future often end up with considerably more wealth in comparison to those who don’t. It’s always seen that successful people are the ones who are goal oriented- that is they set goals and accordingly create a plan in order to achieve it. For instance, if your aim is to repay your student loan in say about 2 years, then you’ll have a better opportunity of attaining it than what you would, if you simply said that you wish to repay it but fail to set a specific deadline.
Even the simple process of writing down your goals could perhaps help you in achieving them. Being goal oriented and properly following a plan means that you have full control and access on your life. Thus, this is a vital step towards enhancing your financial security and independence.
- Short term and long term goals will take care of themselves
Your life holds numerous uncertainties and a lot can change now and also 30 years from now. As such, the view of planning far into your future can be an intimidating task for youngsters.
Instead of setting up long term goals, it’s best to set a series of short term goals, which are both to the point and quantifiable. For instance, repaying the student loan or credit card debt in just a matter of months; or else contributing to your firm’s pension scheme along with a fixed salary reduction contribution on a monthly basis.
As you begin to attain your short term goals, make sure you set some new ones. The unvarying setting and attainment of short term goals will make sure that you’re capable enough to reach the long term ones. Like for example, your aim is to be worth a million pounds when you enter your 40s, then you probably need to reach smaller (short term) goals such as having £10,000, £50,000 or £500,000.
- Planning for retirement: Forget about it!
Just out of school? Then retirement planning should probably be the last thing on your mind. So, for now all you need to do is, just forget about it. By following other ways, you’ll not only be more financially secured, but you’ll also be completely prepared for the distant future.
Nevertheless, if it’s possible for you to take a few steps now so as to begin saving, then why not try setting up an automatic monthly contributions to a particular retirement plan? This way, you can achieving your goals a lot easier.
If you’re able to implement this “pay yourself first ideal”, then you’ll not have to fret about how much you are actually contributing- the most vital thing is to develop a habit of saving as much as you can. Later on, you can gradually raise your contributions when your earnings increase or when you’ve finally attained more of the short term goals.
- Ensure your lifestyle expenses lag your earnings growth
In the first few years of work life, most of the new graduates find that they’re having excess cash flow. As they are primed towards thriftier student expenditure habits, it’s pretty easy to make more money than what’s actually required.
Instead of using the excess earnings to purchase new stuff and live a luxurious life, it’s better to put the cash towards decreasing your debt or adding up the savings. As you move a step ahead in your career and achieve greater accountability, your income should also increase accordingly. But, if the expense of your lifestyle lags your earnings growth, then you’ll always end up having excess cash flow, which could be put towards the attainment your financial goals.
Typically, people get into trouble by feeling enamoured to a particular standard of living, which exceeds what they could possibly afford. Nevertheless, if you’re keeping your standard of living beneath what you actually earn, then you will not have the need to cut back to accrue cash.
- Become financially educated
Making money is one thing; saving and making it grow is another. Investment and financial management are lifelong endeavours. So, making sound investment and financial decisions is crucial for attaining all your set financial goals.
Studies have also shown that individuals who are financially literate tend to end up with additional wealth in comparison to those who aren’t. Thus, take out time and put in all the efforts to become familiar with the areas of personal finance and investments. Such an approach can surely pay off for your entire life.
- Get out and stay out of debt
It is difficult to make a case for being financially secured, especially when you owe money to other people or banks. So, you must have a goal of getting out of your debt as soon as possible. You can even set different time limits in order to get out of debt with every debt category.
Like for instance, you could commit to diminishing your credit card debt in 5 years, whilst eliminating the student debt in 10 years and the mortgage is 15 years.
This might not be an overnight solution to your present debt issues, but it will at least gives you a head start in the right direction. Also, once you’re completely debt free, make sure you stay out of it and never come back. There is nothing like “good debt” when you’re trying to attain financial security and independence.
- Keep your career or business moving ahead
When you are trying to become financially secured, the most essential step is to live below your means, something many people disregard. Nevertheless, you could give yourself a major assistance in that effort by ensuring that you’re constantly increasing your earnings in the future. If you’re able to do that, whilst maintaining the expenditure level; you’re bound to reach all your financial goals at a more rapid rate.
You could even keep your career moving forward by sharpening your skills and raising your worth to your employer. You must put yourself in the running for promotions as well as keep yourself open for better opportunities. But, if you’re self-employed, it means constantly working hard to keep the business moving ahead.
Always working to advance your career is like investing in yourself. It is one of the best ways to receive good returns on your investment whether you’re self employed or salaried. If you’re self employed, then it simply means that you have many “bosses” to serve to. Thus, regularly ask them how you can be better at your work, because the better you are, the more worth you’ll bring to the table and the more it’ll assist you in earning more.
- Seize the available opportunities and take calculated risks
Talking calculated risks when you’re young can pay off in years to come and eventually make it appear as a prudent decision. You may end up making mistakes all along the way, but always remember, the more mistakes you make now, the more you learn and grow.. You tend to learn more from your mistakes than what you learn from your success. Likewise, when you’re young, you can recover from those mistakes quickly and you also have a longer time frame within which you can make your recovery.
Some examples of taking calculated risks includes: moving to a new city that offers more job opportunities; or taking a new job for less salary but with more benefit.
Working for small start-ups, investing in high return stocks or starting a new company is a lot easier when you are young. But, as you get older and take up more responsibilities on your shoulder, you may be forced to play it safe and you probably wont be able to capitalise on riskier opportunities that are presented.
- Diversify your investments
This takes you back to not knowing what the market holds for you in your future. A better way to secure yourself against these unforeseen surprises is to diversify your investments across numerous asset classes.
If you look at the big picture, you need to have at least some amount of set income investments, cash, natural resources, etc. All this would keep you from taking up a huge hit in the event that any of these sectors crash, whilst at the same time taking benefit of strong markets wherever they are.
Likewise, you do not go crazy with the investments. Stick to key funds for stocks, as they offer lower investment charges and do not really produce an entire lot of capital gains tax.
- Diversify your income sources too
The way you will diversify your investment portfolio, you must even diversify the way you make money. Both the job as well as economy isn’t constant as they used to be, also you need to be fully prepared in order to ride out the ups and downs.
For instance, if you’re working in a full-time job, then try to work on creating a side business. This will not only offer you with extra source of income for debt reduction and savings, but also act as a replacement to the job you may lose in the next recession.
If you have a company, try to diversify into relatable sources of income. You may even think of creating passive income sources like investing in small scale business’s, which is run of some other person.
Multiple sources of income- in and of themselves- could possibly represent a form of financial security and independence.
- Borrow money for investments, but never to finance lifestyle
When you make use of credit for a life that you feel you’re entitled to, it simply means losing proposition, especially when it comes to building wealth. The constant borrowing will ensure that there’s no money left for investing purposes, also the rolled up interest expense of borrowing further would raise the cost of your lifestyle.
Thus, it is always better to borrow money only for investments; wherein the gain can outrun the borrowing expenses. For instance, if you’re thinking of investing your money for your education or to start a business or to purchase a new home, then you could possibly opt for a student loan or personal loan. Of course, these borrowings will offer you the leverage you require so as to attain your financial goals quickly.
But, if you’re considering taking out a loan, make sure to look for PPI. Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is a policy designed to cover your monthly loan repayments, if you’re unable to repay the loan due to sickness or unemployment.
But, it has been found that banks and other financial institutions were mis-selling it for their own greed; either by adding it to their customers’ loan without their consent or by saying that it was mandatory. Thus, see to it that you’re thoroughly going through loan details before applying for it. Or else, if you’ve already applied for one, then you can make a claim in order to receive your money back.
- Take benefit of financial freebies
Not many things in your life are for free. If you belong to company pension scheme, then why not take the free cash that it offers? Also, ensure that you can contribute at least a maximum of what your company can match. You can even take benefit of tax laws and the funds. Most of these would allow you tax savings and help you receive the cash back by the end of the year.
- Lastly, have fun
You should enjoy whilst you are young, as you’ll have ample amount of time be miserable when you get older. Living a happy, successful life is all about finding balance between time with friends and family, and even between work and leisure.
Striking proper balance between your present and future life is equally vital. Financially, you cannot live as if today is your last day. You need to decide between when you spend today versus what you spend in your future. It is completely about finding the right balance, as it’s the first essential step towards attaining financial security and independence before 30.