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DIY: How To Improve Your Personal Finances
Even if you’re not looking for a property this exact second, you always want to be improving your position.
So, focus on the downtime to improve your finances, get your debt squared away, and put yourself in a better position when you are ready to buy!
It’s important to be sure of your financial position before you buy a property because you might find it’s harder to get that property than you would have originally thought.
Here are a few ways to quickly improve your finances to help you save more, pay down more debt, and qualify for better loans.
One of the most common reasons that people struggle financially is because they simply don’t pay attention to what is going on in their own financial life. If you are not paying attention, you can’t hope to know what is going on and therefore know how to improve matters.
So, the first item on your list is to start paying attention to your finances!
When I’m working on a project, I’m laser-focused on the budget, the details, the costs, etc. But, sometimes in my personal life, I let this slide.
The reality is, when we do have a budget and focus on sticking to it, our bank account balances grow so much faster than when we aren’t using one.
I love to eat out, and my wife loves to buy small things around the house. One day, we looked back over the previous year of spending and found we each averaged over $1,000 per month on our hobbies!
By pulling back a little in each area, we were able to save over $1,000 per month but still do the things we enjoyed.
So, start by having a budget!
Even if you are financially well off and can afford most of what you want, by budgeting for the items and spreading the costs out over several months, you’ll find that you buy less, spend less, and save more.
Also, if you budget to pay down certain debts faster, you’ll see those balances dramatically drop!
So, do not overlook the importance of a family budget.
Save On Other Purchases
There might be a number of other big purchases you need to make before you get hold of your next property, and it is a good idea to make sure that you are only spending as much on those as absolutely necessary.
For any big ticket items, we actually start searching for them months or even a year in advance. For example, let’s consider kitchen appliances.
As you know, a full set of appliances can easily cost $5,000-$10,000 if you are getting high-end products. It includes a fridge, double oven, gas cooktop, microwave/fan, and dishwasher.
The first thing we did was go to the store and decide on two or three brands, styles and product lines we wanted. It’s hard to compare prices unless you are looking at similar products between stores.
Then, for months we’ll watch these items and their prices. Occasionally there will be sales and by tracking the pricing all year, we know which sales are worth getting or not. When we feel we are getting the best price, we’ll buy.
And by doing that, we can easily save $500-$1,000 or even more.
We did something similar with our TV, computer monitors, etc. Basically, anything that is currently working that we want to upgrade. Over the course of a year, we are saving thousands of dollars.
You might also use a money saving app to help.
Saving money in all these places will make an enormous difference when it comes to saving for your next down-payment
Pay Down Debt
With all the money you are saving by budgeting and by planning out major purchases, you might want to use some of it to pay down debt.
You’ll have to decide if it’s better to pay down debt or have a larger down payment because both will hold you back on your next purchase.
But, generally, paying down $1/month in debt is worth about $3/month in income. At least, as far as loans are concerned.
If you do decide to work on paying down your debt, I fully detail a unique debt pay down method to get you into your next rental property faster.
Increase Your Income
Most people just focus on debt, but the reality is you can only cut your expenses so much.
Income, on the other hand, has unlimited potential. So, why not focus on growing your income?
Increasing your monthly income can be done in a number of passive and active ways, and it is worth looking into as many of these as you can to find the right one for you. I outline a number of ways to increase your income in this article on how to earn $10,000 per month.
While earning $10,000 per month in side-income might seem a long way off, it’s important to start! Even if you can earn an extra $500 month now, and grow it slowly over time, it’s worth it!.
Don’t Focus on Just One Thing
As I mentioned already, focusing on just budgeting, or debt paydown can be detrimental to your overall financial goals. It’s important to combine a number of different things into an overall strategy, which includes budgeting, debt paydown, and increasing your income.
INTERVIEW: Kevin O’Leary On How To Survive A Market Downturn
Market downturns are inevitable. Just as the boom drives home the big bucks, recession can plunge many into despair with low employment, weak wages and dwindling upbeat market sentiments.
In this video, Shark Tank host, Kevin O’Leary talks about how you can win during the market downturn.
How To Invest Your Way To Your First $1M (In 8 Steps)
While being a millionaire most certainly offers a sense of privilege and extravagance, it also provides comfort.
Despite the idea that many of life’s luxuries can cost you your bank (plus a large chunk of your future earnings), achieving comfortable wealth is possible—if you’ve got a solid investment plan you’ll follow religiously.
Here are eight investment strategies to work your way to your first million dollars.
1. Say No To Fees (Of Any Sort!)
Investing comes packed with hidden and some obvious fees – broker fees, distributor fees, exit and entry fees, maintenance fees, and a string of other service-based fees. If you can manage your own investments and money, you can save hundreds of thousands in fees over the lifetime of your investment.
2. Don’t Try To Time The Market
This can be one of the biggest blunders one can make—simply because it’s impossible, speculative and you’re gambling with your savings. While there are indicators that show market trends, this does not promise that your investment will most certainly move up or down.
#BQPortfolio | Don't try to time the market, Sunil Pandey learns as he plans his retirement.
— BloombergQuint (@BloombergQuint) July 10, 2018
3. Think Long Term And Diversify
If you put all your investments into one asset class, your investment will tank the minute the asset class goes into free fall. How do you beat this? Plan and diversify your investment – it could be debt, treasury bills, equity, real estate, startups, business ideas – anything, as long as you think long-term. This can pay off in the long run.
4. Think Like An Owner
When you buy your stocks or make your investments, think and act like it’s yours – you’ll be doubly careful to make the right checks and invest smart. When you invest in solid, robust companies with this in mind, the returns would also be equally strong. Good companies can pay you high dividends that can up your total income.
5. Invest In Yourself First
Be it education or investing for your retirement, put yourself first and then try to budget for the other frills in life.
6. Borrow If You Can, Don’t Buy
With a growing shared economy, you now have plenty to choose from – co-working spaces, ride-hailing and ride-sharing services, shared rentals and accommodation, and the list goes on. Here’s where you can really cut costs – be it while running your business or as a regular looking to channel the savings elsewhere.
7. Set Goals (And Stick To Them)
Make sure you start saving as early as possible and invest it – even a dollar can compound over time. As time goes, set bigger goals and get excited about them! Once bonuses and income increases come your way, bump up your investments – it can soon touch a quarter of a million.
8. Max Out Early
Your 401K can be one of your biggest retirement funds and maxing out your annual contribution by the end of June can be a great way to boost your retirement savings. How does this help? It gives your money an additional six months to compound.
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