It sounds like you may be off on the right start by creating a budget for yourself to determine if your expenses are aligned with your income, you have money, and ultimately have money available to invest for your future.If your expenses consume a substantial portion of your income and you have little left over for savings you should look into ways of cutting your expenses. If you find yourself with excessive amounts of debts, especially unsecured, with high interest rates your first task is to reduce those to a more manageable level. The less debt and expenses you have the better financial position you will be in to begin investing, which will help you have a better future. Below, I list a few of the basic steps that may help you build a better future.
If you work for a company that provides you with a 401(k) benefit plan or non-profit that offers a 403(b) you should take advantage of this opportunity. Contributions (called elective deferrals) to a 401(k) and 403(b) are pre-tax, and in many cases the employer will match an employee's contributions to the plan. If you are self employed there are other plans such as an IRA, which there are a few different types, or Roth 401(k). The goal you should consider is to maximize your contributions each year.
Another step, when assessing your finances, would be to make sure you are putting aside for a "rainy day"; so to speak. Many financial planners recommend households save three to six months of your living expenses; for emergency reasons, such as job loss or similar unplanned but foreseeable calamity. Keep in mind that savings is different than investing, and you want to make sure that you have easy access to your savings in the event of an emergency. Savings are held in a liquid short-term account, such as a savings account, certificate of deposit (CD), money market account, or a savings bond.
Goals and Strategies
When you place yourself in a financial position where you can invest, the next step would be to determine your goal, and your strategy or strategies to achieve that goal. Your goal and strategies should consider at least two important factors: Your age and when you want to access your investment. If your goal is to invest your money and pull out within five years you may want to consider money market accounts, bonds, or certificates of deposit. Investing in stocks is generally considered by experts to be for investments lasting five years or more. Investors tend to see positive returns in the stock market after this time frame.
To learn more about how to begin investing in your future I encourage you to read an article I wrote, How Do I Start Investing in the Stock Market?.
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I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.