How to Make the Most of Your Money


Start with the Budget
Whether you are the head of a huge corporation or the head of a household, budgeting is the first step to financial health and even prosperity. It is important to put aside a specific time each week to look at what your current financial situation is and how to maintain or improve it. You may have oversized debts and not enough income. Instead of patching up the problem by using more credit or taking another loan, figure out how to maximize earnings and cut expenses.
You may feel reluctant about taking a second job or asking for more hours at work, but it may be preferable to enduring a vicious cycle of debt. You can have a sense of satisfaction paying off loans and having something left over. In addition, enlist the aid of every member of your family to help cut expenses. Teach your children financial literacy from an early age, and help them understand that to be able to afford fun trips and pizza every week, you may have to cut out some extras. Once kids understand what budgeting is, they can learn to delay gratification and pitch in with cutting costs.
Investing Large and Small
Just as you set aside time every week to go through your budget, you should also earmark a certain amount of money every month for investments. These don’t have to be major investments, such as buying gold or a new home, but you can invest in stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles and watch them grow. Any investment requires research to ensure that you will get a substantial return on your money. You may decide to do this research yourself, or find a financial advisor to help you out.
You may have heard of financial advisors such as Peter Briger but are not sure exactly what you want an advisor to do for you. When you look for an attorney, you want to find someone who has knowledge and experience in an area that is relevant to your situation. Financial advisors may focus on wealth creation, high net worth individuals, small business, retirement and managing stock portfolios. You may decide to enlist the services of a mutual or hedge fund manager that handles one portfolio of stocks for all of his or her clients.
Saving for College and Retirement
In addition to growing the money you use to pay bills and live day to day, you also need to think about expanding your savings for certain purposes, such as retirement and college. The deadline for college savings is usually sooner than retirement, and there is rarely outside help, such as Social Security, although your student may earn grants and scholarships. You may want to start a college savings fund for each child and involve him or her in the process of saving and investment. It is a good idea to begin as soon as the child is born and add to the fund gradually. This will prevent the kind of crippling debts many college graduates have to face when starting their first chapter in life.
If you have not saved yet for retirement, there is no reason to feel guilty. It has only been in recent years that the public has realized that Social Security is not so secure and the system is in financial trouble. The retirement program that many people assumed would last forever may not be able to support retirees adequately, so it is essential that you come up with your own funds for retirement. This means starting as soon as possible. If you are late to the game, it isn’t a lost cause, but you may be able to take fewer risks than if you had started saving earlier.
Grow Your Wealth
You owe it to yourself and your family to do whatever you can to be ahead of the game when it comes to financial security. There are plenty of things the average family should save for, and finding opportunities for growth can be easier than relying just on tightening one’s belt and working harder. The secret to financial success is making practical decisions for the long and short-term and to use a creative approach to growth. Look for investment vehicles you may not have tried before and diversify your portfolio for maximum returns.

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Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family. A true gypsy soul, her newest blog, Unsettled Hearts, chronicles the journey of her family to become full-time travelers. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Her book, also called Six Dollar Family, has sold more than 7,000 copies since its release.

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