When it comes to financial advice, most of us feel like we could always use more. Unfortunately, most of us never make use of the common sense advice that already exists out there. Take the following tips for example.
First, simply stop buying things you don’t need. This is easier said than done, but not by much. Look around your home and take stock of the things you purchase on a regular basis. Then think about how much you actually use them. Recognize these things so that the next time you’re tempted to buy them again, you have a better chance of not doing so.
Speaking of not buying things you don’t need, take a good look at your car. Did you know most people replace theirs after just five years? That’s nuts! Instead, pay off your car and then use the money you would otherwise be spending on the note to invest in a mutual fund or some other reliable option. Either way, you’ll get a lot more in return.
Next, look for ways to add to your income. Everyone is always hoping to win the lottery—or the equivalent—in terms of finding that perfect job or coming up with that million dollar idea. Instead, look for practical ways you could add to your income. This could mean looking for ways to justify a raise. It might mean looking for a second job. Ideally, however, it should be a source that you have complete control over, like doing freelance work or starting your own side company.
Lastly, you need to have an emergency fund. This is something far too many people ignore. Many simply consider their savings to be said fund, but the two aren’t the same. An emergency fund never gets touched and is always kept at a level that could sustain your needs for six months.
While this information probably isn’t groundbreaking by any means, it is essential. Before you pick up new pieces of advice or try to implement other ways to make and save money, start with these steps.