If you’re anything like the average working-age person, one missed paycheck could lead to financial ruin. Odds are good you’d have a hard time dealing with a $400 emergency. So, with that in mind, the words “financial planning” might sound a bit daunting. How can you get your finances right when you barely have any finances, to begin with?
Let’s take a look at the ways you can take back control of your finances even when you’re flat broke.
Step one: make a budget. No matter how much of your paycheck goes to necessities every month, make yourself a budget so you can see where your money is going. Look at your spending and see if there is anywhere you can cut back. Would eating at home more often help you save? Do you have any streaming service subscriptions you never watch? Cut these types of things out if you can.
If your end result is that you see you have absolutely no wiggle room in your budget, then step two is to pick up a side hustle. Otherwise, it’s time to start investing.
You need at least some money for financial planning, right? If there’s simply nothing left over from your paycheck even after you cut back, consider working on the side. Start driving for Uber, or walking dogs, babysitting. Sell crafts, teach a class in something you’ve mastered, or take on a part-time job. Whatever you need to do to get some cash flowing, as long as it’s legal, is worth it.
Once you’ve got spare cash in hand, the best thing to do is invest it. Turning your money into even more money is always a win! Investing isn’t just for the wealthy elites–you can start saving for your future with a single dollar.
Money in your pocket is good, but money in the bank is better. If you’ve got a bit of extra cash after your budget, take that money and put it in a savings account. This is a simple way to slowly grow your cash. The returns aren’t phenomenal, but there’s basically no risk that you’ll lose your hard-earned dough.
Another option is to start investing in the stock market. Retail investing is very popular for amateurs, but it’s also very high risk/high reward. Professional financial advisors suggest that newcomers to the field of investing should go with more stable investments, like slow-growing mutual funds or stocks that are not remotely volatile. The choice is yours!