Does this sound familiar?
"I can’t save any money."
"I won’t be able to retire."
"I don’t make enough money."
"Investing is too hard."
As a financial advisor, I’ve heard all these statements before and, I'll admit, I've even caught myself saying them on occasion. (I mean, who hasn’t?) Most of us have negative stories we tell ourselves about money, and excuses for why we can’t succeed financially, especially when a lot of the money advice we hear seems impossible or inapplicable.
Funding an emergency account and saving 10-20 percent annually in retirement accounts isn't easy if you're living paycheck to paycheck or struggling to pay off debt. In fact, it can seem impossible. If you have money to invest, but no idea where to start, the range of investing options can seem overwhelming. Inexperience and negative messaging can paralyze you from financial progress and even perpetuate unhealthy money behavior.
Whatever your situation may be, letting go of old excuses that enable bad habits and adopting a new, more positive money mindset is the first step in achieving your financial goals. The next steps all depend on your own circumstances, but here are basic tips for saving and growing money for three different financial situations:
- You're digging your way out of debt.
- You're breaking even.
- You have extra money but you're not sure what to do with it. (And, yes, some tips may overlap.)