We have all heard the old expression about “getting ahead”. I’ve heard it my whole life and it mainly pertains to the financial arena. We all would like to get a few dollars ahead of bills and commitments, but it’s not easy. There are endless items and services out there to suck away your income if you allow it to happen. You have to develop a plan to keep some money set aside for the future, just in case you make it to that point in time. No plan equals no savings, which puts you behind in the game…not ahead.
Here are five ways to help you get ahead financially. They are not fool proof and you may have to adjust as you go forward. That’s OK. A life is not set in stone. We all have to adapt to things that happen along our journey.
5. Tap into your competitive streak. I have a friend in a very competitive business. He will not allow any of his competitors to beat him on price. He will lose money on an item just to keep up with those in the same business! Make it your mission to dominate your competition if you run a small business. If you work a regular job, try to see how little you can spend on a weekly basis compared to co-workers on coffee, snacks, and even gasoline.
4. Find a piece of software that will help you be more organized with your finances. This is very helpful for many folks. Deciding to do better with money so you can get ahead is the first step. The next step is to be organized and intentional about it. Mint.com, Dave Ramsey’s budget tools, and ‘You Need A Budget’ are just a few examples of ways to help.
3. Side income can be the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and building up some level of savings. Find a side business or a part time job, then treat that money as untouchable. Put it in a savings account or bury it in the back yard. Just make it hard to get to.
2. Find something you love to do and find a way to profit from that. Be careful not to ruin a fun hobby by tying it to your finances though. Just be creative and turn your passion into dollars. Doing something for pay that you would do for free is quite rewarding.
1. The simplest form of budgeting is to spend less than you bring in. You don’t need a fancy piece of software if you commit to only spending 75 or 85 percent of your income. Setting aside a portion of your money and not touching it except for emergencies will ensure you have money to spare. No complicated formulas or plans needed.