Growing up, you observe different patterns of budgeting and spending from parents and other role models. Over time, you begin to consider different kinds of occupations and the level of income they might give you on a day-to-day basis. Having a source of income should encourage you to consider writing personal financial goals. If you don't plan in some way how to spend your money, there might not be enough to cover all your expected and unexpected expenses.
Saving for the Unknown
Individuals and families need a financial cushion to fall back on in case of an emergency. You never know when you might be injured, become sick or be laid off from your job. Other calamities, such as a natural disaster or a home fire, can leave you temporarily in desperate circumstances. An important short-term goal is the saving of a sufficient amount of money in order to be prepared for such emergencies. It's also important to avoid spending money from such savings for anything other than an emergency.
Getting Good Terms
In your young adult years, you will start to acquire more kinds of financial accounts. It's important to keep an available balance in your checking account so there is money to pay bills on time. You might even begin building credit by getting a cell phone contract or a retail store credit card. Make it a practice to avoid fees for financial services when possible. A free checking account is one way to do this; using such an account responsibly is another. Carefully recording each transaction and monitoring the balance will enable you to avoid returned check and overdraft fees.
Making a Budget
Your budget is also a place where you can make careful choices in line with your short-term financial goals. Calculate how much money you have available for basic expenses like housing, food, transportation and utilities. You can identify how much extra money can go into savings or be set aside for other short-term financial goals. Setting a budget requires prioritizing some expenses over others. For example, you might spend less money on entertainment each month and put more into emergency savings.
Getting a Loan or Apartment
Not all short-term goals will align with a long-term goal. In the short term, you might need to stash cash for a few weeks or months to afford a down payment on an apartment or a personal car loan. While some people have enough room on their credit cards for such expenses, most people don't. You might have to borrow or combine several areas of your household budget to come up with the funds. This kind of action will give you a more immediate sense of economic stability. A series of good decisions like these will help you achieve long-term financial stability.
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