Maybe you’ve seen the ads on TV, or while you’re out and about: Financial consulting, investment services, portfolio management, etc. It can sound impossible even to a person with a relatively comfortable middle-class income!
Those services, though, can extend to anybody, as can the practices of smart money management and building a more secure financial future. Here are a few simple things that you can do.
- Save. People who work in personal finance often encourage everybody, no matter how much money they make, to start a savings account, and then contribute to it every pay period. It may not sound sensible—if I need every dollar that I make now, why am I saving for later?—but the fact is that saving not only provides some insurance for down the road, it creates healthy financial habits, too. Plus, because most savings account generate interest, you’ll slowly earn over time without having had to do anything.
- Protect your savings. Some folks put away money from every pay check, and they hold on to it for a little while … but then a car repair or broken appliance comes along, and so into the savings account they dip. While that’s what a savings account is really for, you should be aiming to really only withdraw from it in life-or-death situations, or to make significantly expensive purchases (car, school), or to retire; if you can find other sources of money to handle a short-term hardship, or if you can budget around it first, that’s a better option than taking away your real emergency fund.
- Budget. One way to plan to save and plan for potential financial challenges, and to stay on track, is to create a budget. You can find a lot of ways to do so online, and they’re all relatively simple: Compare what your pay check says you make every week or month, then compare that to the bills and regular payments that you know you have, and then allocate parts of the difference to other things in your life. With smart budgeting, your personal wealth management can mean getting to have some fun, too!
- Evaluate your financial health. Talk to your local Goodwill about a financial wellness assessment to get an understanding of where you are today and how you can get where you want to go.
Those are just four options; the truth is, everything from investing to retirement and beyond is well within the reach of anybody who wants to learn more and take a chance. You can make your money work for you!