When asked what I think the single most important habit of financially successful people would be, my answer is an easy one: they save!
So when I’m asked, “What should I be better at the whole personal finance thing?” again, my answer is easy: Just save, Baby!
I don’t care if it’s $5 a month or $5,000 a month. We need to be in the habit of putting something (ANYTHING) away for future use. Learning to delay gratification and consider future needs and wants is absolutely vital in reaching our short- and long-term goals.
That said, other questions I hear often include, “Where do I put my money?” and “How much should I be savings?”
- Have an emergency fund of at least $1,000 up to 6 months or so worth of our essential monthly expenses. Use savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit.
- Use these same accounts or an online savings account to save for short-term goals (vacations, gifts, appliances, furniture, and cars or trucks)
- Use mutual funds, stocks and bonds as the financial vehicles within our 401(k) or 403(b) employer-matching accounts. Max the match!
- Use mutual funds, stocks and bonds as the financial vehicles within our Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Max the annual deposit!
- See a financial adviser for additional guidance, but an individual investment account may be the next step.
Of course, there are many other investment options, such as life insurance, real estate, but these are a few of the basics to consider.
Best wishes to us all in achieving our financial goals.
“Just save, Baby!