2 Simple Tips for Better Finances

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Growing up, my family did not have a lot of money. My parents immigrated to the USA so they could provide more opportunities for me and my sisters. I am eternally grateful for that.

My aunt was recently visiting and, having lived outside of this country herself, she was surprised that my sisters and I worked while we went to school. I explained to her that is how things are here. My sisters and I have had jobs since we were very young to pay for our own things since the money my parents made had to go to monthly bills, the mortgage, groceries and, you know, real life stuff.

While working so young and seeing my parents work so hard provided a sound work ethic, I can’t exactly say that it provided the type of money education I believe everyone needs. When I was in college, I worked at a bank and one of my customers owned his own business and used to make regular (large) deposits on a weekly basis. He said to me once, “Work hard for your money when you’re young so your money can work hard for you when you’re old.” That has always stuck with me. I’m still learning myself, but here are 2 simple tips that will carry you far. What are your thoughts on money?

1. Figure out your magic number – This may seem arbitrary or confusing, but try to figure out what you think you will need for your lifetime. There are tons of calculators online to figure out your budget, retirement, college savings for kids, etc. Dream big, but keep it real. When you know your magic number, aim for the target and adjust your spending/lifestyle accordingly.

2. Live poor now, so you can live rich later – I admit, I am a spender and love to spend money. And, it seems, whenever there is a raise or bonus involved, I’ve treated them as extra money to spend instead of save. However, now I try to control that. You can still live in your dream neighborhood, just get a smaller space. Buy a nice used car. Go thrifting for fabulous clothes and furnishings. Plan things in advance (though last-minute things can sometimes save you). There are tons of resources online for saving / budgeting.

I’ll be performing some financial experiments on the blog in the next few weeks. Feel free to follow along or join me :)