Did you know that more than 50% of all households across the U.S. are invested in the stock market, in some shape or form? That's an impressive figure, considering what we have all been through as a result of the pandemic and the impact it has had on household income across the country.
If you need personal finance tips, you'll want to keep reading.
Simply put, we need to think long term about our future. If we do not invest now, what will we have in the future?
Investing can be extremely daunting if you do so uninformed or haphazardly. The first of our personal finance tips that we can offer when it comes to investing, is to take a careful look at your finances before you even consider investing any of it.
Before you consider investing any of your hard-earned cash, first take a careful look at your own finances. You should have a good understanding of where all your money goes and what debts you may have outstanding.
Part of this process should be to look at your financial goals, your cash flow each month, and if you have an emergency fund set up for those rainy days. You don't want to find yourself investing all your leftover budget when you don't have any finances available in the event of an emergency. Always have an emergency budget!
When it comes to investing, self-control is key. Instant gratification is firmly embedded in the youth of today, so we cannot express enough the fact that you need to have self-control when it comes to your finances. Do you really need those new shoes or that glamorous holiday abroad? While it's important to enjoy life, try to find experiences that don't make a major dent in your wallet. Rather invest that money. You'll certainly benefit from the reward as that investment matures, allowing you to take the holiday of your dreams in the future.
The majority of people in the U.S. take advantage of their retirement accounts to invest. Not only are they easy to contribute to, but they offer plenty of tax benefits. Make sure you automatically contribute a portion of your paycheck to a workplace retirement plan, such as a 401(k). It's best to contribute between 15% and 20% of your gross income each month. While it may be tough at first to put this much away, the future you will most certainly thank you for it.
While the easiest way to invest is through your employer's retirement plan, not everyone has access to one. If you're in that boat, consider opening either a traditional or Roth IRA account so you don't fall behind in saving for the future. If you are unsure of what these two accounts are, here are the differences.
The Differences Between a Traditional IRA Account and a Roth IRA Account
A traditional IRA account offers a tax break when you make contributions. However, in turn, you'll pay taxes on the money in your account when you begin withdrawing funds.
With a Roth IRA account however, it is just the opposite. You won't get to take an upfront tax break for your contribution but the money you've saved will grow tax-free. You can then withdraw it later without paying any taxes on your investment earnings.
We can't be experts in every aspect of our lives. When you are ill, you consult with a doctor. When your car breaks down, you call your local mechanic. The same can be said of investing. Learn from the financial experts and let them guide you on how best to invest your money. If you don't have the budget to have an expert on speed dial, consider allocating an hour or two each month for a check-in session and to discuss potential investment avenues. There are also plenty of online platforms that can assist you with your investment decisions.
So, there you have it. A few simple personal finance tips that you can use to begin investing your hard-earned money.
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