When you want to adopt a more responsible lifestyle, one that involves a balanced set of financial habits these five steps are the essentials you should go by. Situations may vary depending on your earning potential, the country or city where you reside or your job stability, however, these 5 steps should work for most people.
The very first step is to cover all essentials. This means that before thinking of saving money or paying back debt you should pay rent or mortgage, bills and get healthy food. This way, you can avoid any housing problems or health problems which can be caused by poor eating habits.
Putting some money aside for an emergency fund is an essential step when it comes to responsible financial behavior. This way you will be covered in case you lose your job, the economy hits a rough spot or you may have some health issues. Depending on your expenses on living standards an emergency fund should allow you to live at your current standard for anywhere between 3 to 6 months.
Once you have covered your essential and have made provisions for any unpredictable situation via your emergency savings fund you can now tackle the sensible issue of debt. Debt comes in many forms and can take a lot of time to payoff, particularly if you have made some poor decisions when it came to accumulating debt. Consult a financial planner, have a talk with your banker or credit card service and try to find some middle ground when it comes to paying off debt.
Try to be flexible when it comes to paying off debt. If you stand to make more money for a predetermined period of time try to use it to get rid of debt quicker.
Once all of the above three steps have been resolved you can start thinking of saving money. Find some motivating goals, try to invest in yourself, to increase your earning potential and keep your quality of life at a satisfactory level while setting aside enough to live comfortably when you retire.
Saving money while having fun and enjoying your life isn’t as impossible as some people make it out to be. In fact, spending some money every now and then will give you enough motivation to keep saving in the long run. Make sure you choose financially responsible ways of having fun though.