The infamous Gordon Geeko character from the “Wall Street” movies once said “..money is not the most precious commodity in our lives…time is”. These words could not be more true. The irony of this is that the more time you have remaining in life, the more money you are able to make for yourself if you use careful planning. Most consider their 20’s to be the prime time to start getting serious about investments and financial planning of all kinds. If you can start even earlier, this is great, but most of us are not going to have this jump start. For most, the beginning of a career during this period of life is a great catalyst for really getting their financial act together.
How to get started
The key ingredient to starting to live the financial life that you would like to live is motivation. Frugalsimplicity.com suggests that you always keep a concrete goals in mind to keep yourself motivated. It is not just about having some overarching picture in mind that you want to get to. Rather, you need to lay out in plain and simple terms what you want to do. It is probably best to start with smaller steps, then move your way up. For example, you may just try to save up $1,000 at first. This is usually pretty easily attainable for people who are striving to do so. It is imperative that you cut out the excess spending and stay focused on putting that extra money into a savings account. Before you know it, you will have your first $1,000 in the bank. Then, you will be able to put one check on the list of ways to get your financial life in order. Baby steps like this are the only way to reach your larger goals.
Saving money is great, but money in a savings account is not going to do a lot of good for you. You have probably heard the expression “make your money work for you”. This is a common piece of advice that is telling the listener to start investing his or her money. The savings accounts are going to yield incredibly low interest for you, but the stock or bond markets can produce large returns. When you are investing in the stock or bond markets, you are actually going to see real growth of your funds over time. Five to ten percent returns in a year are common for investments. If you continue to add to your investments as you go along with your savings plan, then you are going to find that a large pile of money might be waiting for you in a very short amount of time.
There is no doubt that forcing yourself to start saving more money and putting it towards something that you are not going to immediate returns from is difficult. However, if you are able to take a few of these simple tips and do this for yourself, you are not going to be displeased by the end results.