Cash flow is a significant concern for millions of Americans. Almost 80 percent of us deal with stress directly related to our financial health. And it can sometimes feel as if there is no way to resolve this constant state of worry.
That’s where you’re wrong. Financial freedom is not some mythical creature that we all search for: It can be achieved through some simple changes to your habits and understanding of finance in the first place.
Save on recurring expenses.
Some expenditures simply cannot be avoided. Rent and mortgage payments are not going anywhere, but moving into a place that fits less pointedly into your budget or refinancing your home in order to lower monthly payments can go a long way to alleviating the pressure of cash flow difficulties. The same can be said about your car insurance and television bills. There are so many alternative providers in the market that even just calling to say you are thinking of switching can net you a hefty rate reduction that will last through the next calendar year.
Take advantage of medical discounts.
Rx discounts go a long way to saving on your monthly expenses. The average American spends $1200 every year on medicine. Cutting into this massive bill with generic prescription drugs and coupons for drastically reduced pharmacy prices on a range of medication is an excellent way to boost your available cash.
Prescription drugs can cost an arm and a leg, even with reduction plans like Medicare. Adding a discount card to your wallet will ensure that you are always getting the lowest price while still following the medical advice provided by your doctor.
Save whenever possible.
While our bills have continued to skyrocket, many people have let savings fall by the wayside. This wasn’t always the case, but the modern marketplace is a cruel habitat for many people just trying to make their way in the world. Even if you only put aside 5% of your net paycheck, that savings pot will start to add up in a hurry.
Invest your tax refund.
When you receive a lump sum – a tax refund, bonus, or otherwise – invest it in the stock market instead of splurging. Subscribing to the time-honored “Buy Low, Sell High” trading strategy will allow you to remain hands-off while your extra cash uses the most valuable asset it’s got: time. The longer your capital stays in the market the more it will grow, resulting in a pretty nest egg at the end of the line.
The stock market is volatile of course, but its year-over-year trend has remained at about 7% for the duration of its 100+ year lifetime. There are several types of investment portfolios, but a Three Fund Portfolio is a good option if you are interested in investing in stocks and bonds. Betting on the market over the long haul is always a smart decision when putting your money to work for you.
When it comes time to replace a dishwasher, fence, paint, or carpet (among many other major purchases), make sure you don’t take the cheap route for saving’s sake. Often, when it comes to these large updates the cheapest quote out there is cheap for a reason. If you pay for poor workmanship then you shouldn’t be surprised when the item in question lasts half the time it’s meant to.
When buying a new boiler, work shoes, or fittings for the kitchen, buy the best quality items you can afford—while still not breaking the bank, of course. This way you will have the benefit of good quality things in your life that also stand up to the test of time. Always buy substantial purchases with value in mind, not just the price tag.
Building financial health takes dedication, but it starts with small things. Get yourself on track and then maintain the course to a bright financial future.
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