By Raymond C. Lantz, Financial and Retirement Advisor for USA Wealth Group
Having money is about having good money habits. Forming good habits takes time and a real commitment - and it won’t happen overnight! Developing good money habits is something that requires thought and action based on your goals.
What do you want to accomplish in your finances? Is it having enough money to retire by a certain age? Or planning a vacation? The first step towards having good money habits is to decide what your goals are. Write them out, and figure out how you will accomplish those goals.
Here are some Money Wise tips for forming good habits:
· Start Small: The reason many people fail to keep new resolutions is because they try to take on too much too quickly. Focus on small, obtainable goals and work up to your larger goals. If you have a lot of debt, paying off your smallest balance will give you a psychological boost and a sense of accomplishment.
· Have a budget: If you don’t have a budget, you have no idea what your income is in relation to your spending. Categorize your spending to know how much of your income is spent on each aspect of your lifestyle. You may find you’re spending too much on housing and living expenses and not enough for your future such as retirement or emergency funds.
· Pay attention to the details: Know how much you spend each week. This can help you identify frivolous spending and figure out where you can improve. Your daily coffee might not seem like much, but $3.00 each day adds up quickly. Eliminating wasteful habits is a great way to reach your small goals, like paying off a small credit card balance or paying cash for a purchase instead of using credit.
· Pay yourself first: No matter the amount, it is important to put aside money each week towards your future. If possible, automate your savings. If your employer allows you to set up automatic deductions, use that feature – especially if your employer offers a match for retirement. If you don’t take advantage of that, you are losing money every week.
· Pass it on: Aristotle said, “Good habits formed at youth, make all the difference.” – Teach your children and grandchildren good money habits early that will help them throughout their life.
For more information on good money habits, visit our radio archive to listen to Money Wise with Ray Lantz on money habits.
Raymond C. Lantz, Jr. is the president and founder of USA Wealth Group, Inc. Ray has many years of experience advising clients in retirement and sophisticated tax planning strategies, multi-family and commercial real estate projects, and legacy planning. Ray is a graduate of Clark University, holds a law degree from Boston College, and a master of laws in taxation from Boston University. You can hear him every Sunday on Money Wise with Ray Lantz on WBSM 1420AM or on the Radio Pup app.