In a study reported on by the New York Post, less than half of participants knew what a 401K is.
The data gleaned from the survey also found that 48 percent couldn’t define common financial terminology. And 34 percent did not understand how inflation works.
And this lack of knowledge is stressing us out. The American Psychological Association reports that money worries can hurt our health.
But with so much information out there, some often contradictory, it can be hard to know what a person should be doing on a daily basis.
Want to cut through the information overload? Ready for clear-cut and simple strategies that you can incorporate into your day? Willing to do what it takes to become financially stable? The following are just 3 moves that you can make daily that will shape your financial future.
- Budget for the unexpected.
This is a money mindset that many know they should have, but often do not follow through on.
Accidents, deaths in the family, sickness, and other unexpected happenings often come with a large financial cost. Not only do such circumstances usually call for a dip into one’s savings, but often the situation requires an individual to take time off from work. Further endangering their cash flow.
For example, say you get involved in a traffic accident. According to West Coast Trial Lawyers, a truck accident lawyer Los Angeles, “When a truck hits a car, the occupants of the car are often killed or suffer very serious injuries, such as brain and spinal cord injuries, while the truck driver walks away from the accident unharmed.”
At the very least, such accidents result in steep medical bills, and, at worse, the inability to continue in a chosen career.
Preparing an emergency fund is one of the most important steps you can take when looking for ways to safeguard yourself financially.
Get it into your mind that there will always be unexpected costs. And then plan accordingly. Often, people feel that an emergency fund is too difficult to create because they think they must come up with the lump sum all at once. But there are better and easier ways to go about it.
Every day, when you get home from work, dump your change into a jar designated for rainy days. Look for ways daily where you can cut costs and put that extra non-spent money into your rainy-day fund.
- Squash spending triggers.
Triggers are anything in our environment that create a cause-and-effect reaction. Perhaps a phone call from your mother causes you to need an afternoon drink, so you go out to the bar and end up blowing $100. That phone call was a spending trigger.
Understanding your spending triggers will help you know where to work on changing your behavior. Or at least show you which triggers you should try avoiding altogether. Can’t walk past a Starbucks without getting a coffee? Ever consider taking a different route?
Common triggers that might be afflicting you include the “reward” trigger. Say you worked really hard, and you feel you deserve a reward, so you go out and buy something expensive.
Feeling deserving is the trigger. Look for something else to use as a reward. Treat yourself at home. Watch your favorite show, without feeling guilty. Hang out with friends. There are many free activities that involve no money that you can use to reward yourself after a long day.
- Take care of your emotional and physical health.
The connection between your health and the state of your finances is real and strong. As the years pass, how well you have taken care of yourself will show in your quality of life and in your savings account.
But if you avoid exercise and eat potato chips and frequent fast food joints, these actions might not cause you financial distress this year or even the next.
Eventually, however, you will be faced with declining health that could mean huge medical bills for you. Not to mention your decreased ability to earn due to your health problems.
Good health allows you to grab a hold of your highest earning potential for the longest number of years. Conversely, ill health does the opposite.
Your future health is determined by the daily choices you make to eat well, sleep well, and stay active. So for the sake of your older self and a stable bank account, start to make better health choices because your best life does depend on it!