Your financial future is one of the most important things you should be worrying about. You are the only one who will be there to defend and protect it, so you need to be aware of what is going on. Retirement may seem like a long time away, but the truth is that you need to start preparing for that now. You also need to be ready in case of a disaster, like an unexpected job loss or a recession. Here are a few tips to help you make sure your money is on solid ground.
Grow Your Savings
You don’t want to be like Chicken Little, running around thinking that the sky is falling, but you do need to be prepared. If you are living paycheck to paycheck or you are in a lot of debt, any unforeseen financial expenses or problems can send you into a tailspin. The best way to avoid this? Build a savings account.
The current recommendation from financial advisors is that you should have a savings account with at least 3 to 6 months of expenses saved up. This is different than your normal savings account. This is your emergency savings. You should contribute a little from each paycheck and not touch any of it unless there is a real emergency. In order to know how much to save, track your expenses for a month, and multiply that by six. That number is how much you should have in an emergency fund.
Diversify Your Investments
Investing is a great way to build wealth, and everyone who can afford to should do it. However, it can also turn into a way to lose money quickly if you are not careful about diversifying what investments you have. In other words, do not put all of your investment money into one basket. That basket (stock, bond, mutual fund, etc.) may have holes in it that you do not even notice until it is too late.
A good way to invest is through a self-directed IRA account. This is a retirement account that you are fully in charge of. This means that you make all of the calls as far as how the money is spread out among different investments. It may make it possible for you to invest in a wide variety of different stocks, bonds, precious metals, and even real estate while still getting the same benefits that come with a traditional IRA account.
Keep Your Resume Up to Date
Even if you are not planning on leaving the job that you have anytime soon, there is nothing saying you can’t sharpen up your resume to some extent. The easiest way to do this, of course, is to practice some special skills or get special certifications that make you more marketable.
Perhaps in your off time, you might consider doing something like learning a new language or getting yourself certified to be a notary public. No matter what, adding some special skills and accomplishments to your resume is always a good idea. Too many people wait until they are looking for a new job to worry about making sure they are the best candidate. Make sure you don’t stop learning and you are always striving to be the best employee in the room.
Look for Side Gigs
Side jobs are always a good idea. Not only do they help you earn more money, but they also diversify your income streams. In plain English, that means that they help you have money coming in from more than just one source. If you have a passion for something, try and market it a little on the side. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but it can help with your creativity and give you a little extra cash flow to fall back on.
Everyone wants to believe that their money is secure, and they don’t have to worry about the future, but that isn’t the case. Make sure that you are prepared in case of an emergency.