Remember how we were always encouraged to save our spare change as kids? For some (myself included), the joy came from pushing coins through the little slots of our piggy banks and hearing that satisfying “clink” as they fell. Of course, that experience was only bested when the time came to empty out said piggy bank, something which kids all over always take to with great abandon. While the idea of saving up still carries great importance till this day, building financial wellness as an adult requires a multi-pronged approach to ensure that all bases are covered.
1. Not overspending
Perhaps the most common pitfall of all, many adults tend to fall into this trap the minute disposable income enter their lives. Well, certainly not everyone starts out by buying a $50,000 car when they’re only bringing in $4,000 a month, but such habits tend to build up over a span of time. Spending within your means requires basic budgeting AND sticking with it. Even when it comes to necessities, expectations need to be realistic. Do you really need 6-ply toilet paper when 2 or 3-ply works just fine?
2. Keeping a “rainy day” fund
A logical extension of our childhood saving habits, setting aside money for emergencies turns into more of a skillset as we age. As more and more responsibilities end up landing on our plates, suddenly everything seems like it could turn into an emergency at the drop of a hat. The idea of “keeping” not only denotes the act of saving, but also knowing when NOT to bust it out. Vet medical bills? Yes. New, overpriced smartphone? Not really.
3. Enlist support
Not everyone is born with the sensibilities of a finance wizard. Unless you’re a wunderkind, chances are high that you’re going to need help along the way, even as an adult. Parents are a good first line of support, and so are more experienced peers. There’s also nothing wrong with engaging the services of a financial consultant. Due to their knowledge of trends and spending habits, their advice on planning and execution would certainly be considered indispensable.
4. Leverage on existing benefits
Some companies over amazing financial wellness programmes, be it insurance coverage with extremely competitive premium rates or compound savings schemes. Knowing what they are as a working professional will allow you to take advantage of what those benefits and help you realise what they can mean for you in the long run, so be sure to talk to your HR representative and familiarise yourself with them.
5. Engage in investments
Investing money is all about putting funds into something that will yield significant dividends upon maturity. For those with deep enough pockets, real estate and businesses are typical choices. Stocks are also considered fair game for those willing to play them and caters to a wide array of risk appetites. Savings and investment plans are by and large considered to the safest option when it comes to making money grow and can be structured to ensure regular pay-outs over the course of your life (typically every 10 years). Having a healthy investment portfolio can make the difference between a comfortable retirement and an uncertain one.
Just because you’re financially solvent doesn’t mean that you can go on taking things for granted. Keeping your eye on the big picture will give you the incentive to be smarter with your money, which is hardly a bad thing. Handle your finances the same you would your health and you won’t have to worry about outliving your savings!