Someone once told me “rich people follow a budget” and I still think about that phrase today. We often think that we have to manage our money when things are going bad or when we have to get back on our feet, but that’s simply not the case.
Here are eight routines that people who are great with their finances follow in their effort to build wealth, which also helps you get out of debt.
Follow a personalized budget
Personal finances are just that, personal! Don’t download a budget template or trust that you can use the one your friend had success with. A family of four spends more on groceries than a single person. Rent in the city costs more than living in BFE. Your bar tab in your twenties is very different than in your forties. You get my point, create a budget that fits your lifestyle and allows you to reach your goals while taking into account your income.
Live below your means
Debt is simply spending more money than you make and we want to avoid that at all costs! Be sure to know what your monthly and annual take-home pay is and live within that number. If you can’t afford to #liveyourbestlife then either increase your income or decrease spending in areas that don’t truly make you happy.
Create a savings plan around retirement goals
Don’t just sign up for the 5% savings rate with your 401k administrator. Use calculators to figure out how much money you will need at retirement and work backwards to determine how much that translates to in monthly contributions today. Our retirement goals look different, you may be on a FI/RE plan or you may want enough to travel the world in a jet. Whatever your plan, know how much that life will cost you.
Pay off all high-interest debt
Not all debt is bad, but all high interest debt is! Any easy rule of thumb is to look at debt with interest rates above 5% and pay it off as quickly as possible. Be sure to use the debt snowball or debt avalanche method to make progress and stay on track.
Utilize apps and software
There’s an app for that! Make managing your money easy. Try apps like Debt Payoff Planner to keep track of your debt, You Need A Budget (YNAB) to track your net worth and follow a budget or Splitwise to track group vacation expenses. You’ll immediately notice your stress going down as you gain clarity around your money.