Personal finance encapsulates a long list of sub-skills and habits aimed at smarter and more efficient money management. These practices have always been regarded as healthy en route to a generally better quality of life, but they are arguably now more important than ever in face of progressive new societal standards and norms — especially those pertaining to the growth of technology and the shifting of many market paradigms.
Here are a few crucial personal finance tips as we grow closer to the start of 2018.
Be smart — be frugal
Ask any high-profile billionaire to reveal his or her secrets to financial success and they will probably point to one key trait: frugality. While it is important to live your life and enjoy yourself now and then, it is also wise to keep your spending on a tight leash when pursuing better financial stability. As famed billionaire/investor Warren Buffet once observed: “success is really doing what you love and doing it well. It’s as simple as that. Really getting to do what you love to do everyday — that’s really the ultimate luxury … your standard of living is not equal to your cost of living.”
Keep retirement in mind
Proper retirement preparation is a timelessly relevant asset to your personal finance. Be sure to keep yourself focused on the future as you accrue more and more tenure within your position, keeping in mind recent surges in equity values and impending bond allocation. Laying a strong retirement foundation will serve as the ultimate return on investment during the latter stages of your life.
Take debt seriously
Like most people, you have likely garnered a fair amount of debt (or debts) during your financial experiences. It can be easy to view these debts with a hierarchical mindset, putting certain ones ahead of other in terms of their importance or urgency. This mindset is not necessarily damaging, but be sure to keep it in check — do not let low hanging fruit debts fall on the wayside, or you will risk forgetting about them and allowing them to haunt you for years to come. Pay down your debts as soon as possible, especially those attached to credit card transactions, and keep the future in mind as your main justification for doing so; this will help you combat procrastination.
If you find any of the aforementioned practices difficult to execute or hard to approach, communicate with those who have a better understanding of them. Whether this person is a loved one, a paid professional, or a simple acquaintance, the comradery of mutual experience will be enough to keep your head on straight. Absorb all the information you can and remember that you are not alone in your personal finance endeavors.