Let’s be honest here. A lot of Americans really struggle financially. In fact, America doesn’t have a minimum wage problem but an average wage problem. The average American has an income around $52,000 but around eighty percent of Americans still live paycheck to paycheck. According to CNN, around fifty percent don’t even have $1,000 in savings and not many even have enough saved for retirement. How are they going to live when they reach retirement? Social Security has been decreasing over the years and will most likely be nonexistent when we reach an old age. This is a big crisis that we need to figure out fast. The good news is that each one of us can control our own financial destiny. In this article, I am going to be breaking down some simple steps that you can implement so that you don’t have to worry about your finances in the future.
1. Make a budget
When you have a budget, every dollar is accounted for. When you are young, it is acceptable to be very frugal. However, this is far from how most people operate. You need to know where every dollar is going every month. Your goal should be to increase the margin between dollars earned and dollars spent each month. In other words, increase income as much as possible and decrease spending as much as possible. Also, make it a goal to save at least 15% of your income every month. If you can’t, your income isn’t high enough or you are spending too much.
2. Get out of debt
When you are young, your main objective is to invest early so that your money compounds over time. Unfortunately, you cannot do this if you are in tremendous amounts of debt. Focus on paying off the debt first whether that be credit cards, car loans, or student loans. Once you have this paid off, then you can start investing for your future.
3. Increase income
I know I hinted on this in the first section but this step is so important. You can only reduce your bottom line by so much but your income potential is unlimited. The good news is that with the internet these days, it is so easy to increase income. You can start a side hustle online, start a small business with limited capital, or get another job. In the end, income is king and the opportunities to expand it are endless.