For a healthy financial life, you need to pay attention to the details while looking at the big picture. From daily spending habits to monthly budgeting and long-term investments, it’s important to set up sustainable habits across multiple time frames. Let’s review some simple but powerful tips to help you take control of your finances. When you educate yourself, you can support your immediate needs and secure your financial future.
Set financial goals based on time horizons
If you want sustainable financial gains now and into the future, you need to be aware of differing time horizons. In simple terms, a time horizon is the number of months, years, or decades it takes for an investment to achieve a particular goal. In the world of finance, success happens when you think about multiple time frames simultaneously.
The following goals highlight different time horizons, from daily spending habits to income, savings, and investment strategies.
Budgeting and cash flow
The first step in any financial journey is to gain control over your spending. It’s important to create a budget that matches your income and reflects your financial goals. This budget should predict the relationship between your income and expenses. Good budgeting leads to healthy cash flow, which is the amount of money left in your bank account for savings and investment opportunities.
It might sound obvious, but the most effective way to improve your bottom line is to boost your income. If you have a good relationship with your employer, perhaps you can negotiate a raise or ask for some overtime. If you have some time and energy to spare, maybe you can start a side hustle and build a business of your own.
Paying off debt
Good cash flow involves more than making money, it’s about developing a healthy relationship between income and debt. Even with a great job, lots of debt is unsustainable on a long-term basis. It’s important to pay off your debt quickly and try to limit new debt when possible. If you need credit, you can use it to your advantage by paying off balances in full and avoiding high-interest loans.
If you have money left at the end of your budgeting period, it’s time to think about savings. When you put money away, you can take advantage of financial opportunities when they arrive. While everyone likes spending their hard-earned money, try to set limits and save a percentage of all the money you earn. Set realistic goals, find a high-interest account, and watch your money build up over time.
If you’ve been working hard and saving for years, it’s time to make some investments. Real estate can be a solid investment, with rent providing ongoing income and capital gains delivering long-term growth. You can also invest in businesses and financial instruments, including shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, and derivatives.
Invest in your financial education
It doesn’t matter which step of the ladder you’re on, it’s always important to invest in your financial education. The more you learn about debt management, investment practices, and taxation planning, the better you’ll be at saving for retirement and meeting your long-term goals.
If you want to learn more about financial strategies, we are here to help. Sean Casterline and Delta Capital Management offer trusted financial advice to people at all stages of life. To learn more, consider reading our articles.