Achieving financial success requires many considerations along with reevaluation and adjustment as circumstances change. The simplest answer to how to be financially successful is to spend less than you earn, but there are nuances to financial solvency that are subtle and not always easy to locate. Making an effort and having a plan will help ensure that you have the highest level of success possible based on your goals and abilities. Here are the next nine things you should be doing.
1. Create a Set of Realistic, Attainable Goals
Being rich is not a firm goal. What does rich mean to you? How rich? How soon? There are too many variables, questions, and interpretations to make "being rich" an official goal. Planning to have five million dollars in diversified investments by the time you reach 60 years old is a goal. Being rich is an undefined dream. Set solid goals that are attainable but aggressive, and then actively work smartly toward them.
2. Be Clear on the Current State of Your Finances
If you are deeply in debt with little income, while assuming you are fine or that things will magically get better at a later date is a poor strategy for financial success. You may be in an economic tailspin, but always remember - you can recover. However, your best chance of recovery comes from being realistic about where you are now, so you know your straight starting point.
3. Develop a Plan for Both Spending and Saving
Once you know where you are and where you want to be, create a plan to get there. You will need to save, but will also need to pay attention to spending. Leave something in your budget for joy and fun. Life is not only about saving for retirement. It is important to live while you are alive, and that means saving and spending. So have a plan for both aspects of financial success.
4. Set Up an Emergency Fund
Even if you have never had a financial emergency, that does not mean one will not appear on the horizon tomorrow. Save up at least six months worth of living expenses as an emergency fund, so you are somewhat protected from job loss, illness, or other concerns. Do not touch that money unless it is a real emergency.
5. Consider Peer-to-Peer Lending
Making some money by lending to others can help boost your finances. For a small investment you can receive payments and interest, so you have a passive income stream. With sites like Fast Invest, you can start with only one Euro, and you can loan as little or as much as you like. By lending to some people, you have more than one stream of passive income, as well. Lending to peers is not without risk, but you can minimise that chance and maximise your profit by being careful and wise in your lending.
6. Diversify Your Investments
While you are lending to others, consider diversifying. The more you diversify, the safer you are if one or more of your investments dries up or performs poorly. While that would be unfortunate, it is less financially stressful if you have other investments you can fall back on. Otherwise, you could be taking a significant risk with solvency. That's something you want to avoid since it can significantly affect the future of your finances, including the age at which you can retire.
7. Eliminate Your Debt Wisely
Getting rid of debt is important, but only if you do it the right way. If you have investments where your money is earning you 5%, do not pull that money to pay off a car loan with 3% interest. You are making more by leaving your money where it is and making your car payments on time. If you have high-interest debt, though, eliminating it can be the best way to start getting your finances back where they should be. Paying only the minimum payments on credit cards, for example, can mean decades of repayment at a very slow rate.
8. Reevaluate Frequently to Stay on Track
In the financial world, things can change quickly. That is true when it comes to both good and bad adjustments. You do not want to end up in trouble because you set up a financial success plan in 1995 and then never looked at it again. There may have been things you could have done differently had you continued to reevaluate and readjust. Consider that carefully, since you want to keep moving forward with your financial plan and seeing your savings grow and your debt dwindle.
9. Put Your Focus on the Future
From the time you began planning, saving, and investing until now, you may have made some mistakes. It is even possible that your biggest mistake was not planning, saving, and investing until now. No matter what kind of situation you find yourself in, you can still work toward a higher degree of financial success. There are always options and changes worth making if you know where to look. Do not underestimate the power of planning and setting goals, and of working smarter and reevaluating to reach your dreams.