Key Ingredients to Financial Well-Being
Seventy-three percent of Americans rank their finances a top stress in their life. Unfortunately, not enough of an emphasis is placed on financial education in our society, so many Americans are faced with financial challenges and worries about their financial well-being well into their retirement.
Your financial health, in fact, impacts so many other aspects of your life, including productivity, health, and happiness. But becoming financially successful isn’t complicated—it just requires consistency and dedication.
The following steps can help you achieve financial success. And the best news is, it’s never too late to start!
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- Strive to live within your means
Financial well-being starts with a budget. Budgets might be a dirty word to some, especially if you’re financially comfortable. However, overspending can drain your accounts quickly. Set a budget and work on sticking to it for three months. After three months, revisit your initial budget and goals, and revise if necessary. Budgeting apps like Mint and Personal Capital are great places to start, but you can also build something simple in Excel.
- Put as much money away as you can
Start to save as soon as you get your first job (or as soon as you can, if you’re past that!). If available to you, get into the habit of putting away as much as you can into your company-sponsored retirement plan, usually a 401(k) or 403(b); if your employer doesn’t offer one, consider opening an IRA.
Continue doing this throughout your entire career, and as you receive raises, increase the amount you’re putting away. Never buy anything you can’t afford. If you do these things, you will create a nice nest egg and you won’t be part of the 64% of Americans who haven’t put away enough money for retirement.