If everyone is rich, then no one is rich.
While you may want to be one of the few — and if you do, here are some good suggestions from Sienna Beard over at Wall St. Cheat Sheet — we’d be willing to bet that the majority of you simply want to work at something you don’t hate and have enough money to where not having money isn’t your primary concern.
Being financially comfortable doesn’t take a six-figure salary. You don’t even have to make a whole lot of money. You simply have to be sensible and responsible and, as best you can, adhere to these five principles:
One: Spend Less Than You Make.
Near the end of the month, I often find myself lamenting over how I worked so hard but kept so little. Then I think about the gas station soda pops, the $2 coffees, the meals out, and suddenly, I’m a lot richer than I think. Make note of the areas where you’re spending money you don’t have to, and put a budget in place that you take seriously. If you know how much you’re making and how much you’re spending each month, then it becomes extremely simple to spend less than you make. And when you are spending less than you make, then, by all means, save something every month.
Two: Stop Worrying About Things.
By “things,” we mean the big house, the expensive car, and the idea that you have to keep up with your friends, family, or peers. None of that matters when it comes to being financially comfortable. Just focus on having a house and cars that you can afford, and if you have to give up something that you don’t really need, stop making yourself feel bad about it. You’re being responsible.
Three: Pay Off Credit Cards Monthly.
You may suck as an investor, but if you pay your credit cards off monthly and work hard to eliminate debts, then you’ll never go wrong. Limiting the amount of debt you have — or getting rid of it altogether — gives you the freedom and mobility to have the kind of life that you enjoy, and not just something that keeps up appearances.
Four: Work At Something That Doesn’t Feel Like Work.
This may not be an option for you right now, but if it isn’t, then do something about it. Start a business. Enhance your knowledge and job skills. Do something in which you can immerse yourself and commit your passion, not something that simply makes you count the hours until the end of the day. Look at where you are and figure out where you can go from here. One thing that doesn’t work: staying in a job you hate with hopes that your employers will not realize they’re still paying you.
Five: Invest In Mutual Funds.
“Put your money in a bank,” is probably the worst advice you’ll ever hear. Historically, interest rates do not keep up with the rate of inflation, rendering your money useless over time. While investments like stocks and FOREX trading can make you a lot of money very quickly, they can also cause you to lose your shirt over night. By studying the charts and finding a mutual fund that has a proven track record of growth, you can limit your risk while getting a much better return on investment.
Rich or not, we all end up in the same place — dead as a bag of hammers. So you might as well take the time that you have on this earth to enjoy your life. While money doesn’t get rid of problems, being financially comfortable does free you up to maximize the enjoyment out of life. These tips will help you get there.[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]