Here are a few finance tips that Dallin has discovered and learned from others along the way. Read more to find out what they are.
Before I go any further, I must give a disclaimer: I AM NO EXPERT WITH MONEY!!! I am very good with numbers and math and I did take an awesome class when I was at Utah State called Family Finance. If you have the opportunity to take a finance class, DO IT! They will teach you way more than you will learn in this little post.
Having said that, I will say that I have learned a couple things over our “long” 6 years of marriage from other people and from experience about money. I’d like to share some of those things to help all of our newly wed clients, as well as anyone else who cares about improving their finances.
1. Give 10% to charity and save 10% in a bank account
This may seem counter-intuitive. You may be thinking… “so to improve my finances… I give money away?? Yup Dallin, you are crazy!” As I mentioned earlier, I had an awesome class while in college called Family Finance. One of the points we covered is how when you give away 10% of your income to charity, it actually makes you feel rich! You are also more careful with your finances and don’t live paycheck to paycheck. You feel more a part of your community and that you are making more of a difference in the world. If you don’t really believe me still, do a search on the internet and see what other people have to say about it. It works!
On the same note, make sure you are saving at least 10% of your income for your future goals or for a “rainy day fund.” This will ensure that your bank account will grow so that when you have a car break down, or some other need for a major purchase, you will not need to go into debt to solve those problems.
2. Get out of debt
You may be a student with student loans, have a car payment, or a house payment, but the bottom line is to get out of debt as soon as possible. Debt really limits where your paycheck goes to every month. I heard a quote by a wise man once. He said “those who understand interest earn money from it. Those that don’t understand it, pay money from it.” Although I’m not saying that if you are paying interest on something, you don’t understand interest, I am saying that you need to eliminate interest payments as fast as possible.
3. Save money in a bank account with “high interest” that is hard to get to
Saving 10% of your money doesn’t do anything for you if it’s very easy to take back out when you want to buy something you don’t really NEED and cannot really afford. It takes a lot of discipline to make sure that money stays in a safe place to grow. There are many ways to ensure this, but my favorite way is to use an online bank with no physical branches. Usually these banks will give you a high interest rate for keeping your money there, and it takes a couple days to transfer the money to a connected bank account. This will make it so that you have to plan ahead and be serious about using your money in your savings account. Also, the high interest is always a benefit (see quote on interest in point #2 above).
4. Live off of one income
This advice was given to me from my aunt. Basically, when you are first married, and are both working, don’t think that your income has just doubled and therefore, your expenses can now be doubled. Still have your expenses match the amount of one income. Save almost the entire 2nd income from your spouse in another account to grow rapidly. This also will prepare you as you have kids and possibly need to have one of you stay at home to take care of a kid, or use daycare. The shock to your finances will not be as severe, and you will not have to do drastic changes to your budget.
As I said in the beginning, I’m no finance expert. However, if you live by some of these simple principles, you’ll find yourself in a better financial situation.
What is good financial advice that you’ve received that I have not mentioned? Comment below!