Everybody would love to travel to their dream destinations, but there is one thing stopping us. You guessed it…money. Money is really a strange thing when you think about it. In past generations people traded services for other services, like if you were a hunter and wanted fish, you trade a fisherman some of you what you hunted in exchange for fish. You both win because you both got what you wanted and there was an equal exchange of value. Now the world we live in today is drastically different and far more complex. We traded in exchange gold a long time ago and were on the verge of seeing the death of cash for 100% digital currency. So what does that mean for you and me? Well, even though the medium for how we exchange value has change, good financial wisdom has not. In this post I’d like to share some advice on how to budget your finances so you can travel more.
Knowing Your Current Net Worth
If you were to ask random people on the street what their net worth was, you would probably get some weird confused looks. This is mainly because we were not taught any financial skills through the public school system. This is by no means a free pass to say “I didn’t know” to excuse your current financial situation, but it is most likely the reason. To figured out your net worth is quite simply and can be done a one single piece of paper or word doc. Just make 2 columns, 1 for assets and liabilities or positives and negatives. The assets column would include your savings accounts, investments, paid off vehicles and liabilities would include things like credit card debt, student loans and any other outstanding debt you owe. It may be scary to do this but this is the first step in making things better.
Creating A Solid Financial Plan
This is the part that can fall under the “new years resolution category” because the motivation of most people only last a couple weeks. A solid financial plan does not have to be super complex. It’s really just an overview of what your current income is, what your essential expenses are, and most important what your non essential expenses are. Properly identifying your non essential expenses and doing your best to eliminate those expenses is the first step to a proper final plan for a brighter future.
Self Control Makes Everything Better
It’s never been so easy to buy things in our modern world. You don’t even need to get off the couch to buy tons of stuff you don’t need from your phone. This is what gets so many people in trouble, specifically college age young adults. If you are in that age group then you are at a important decision making time in life, maybe the most important you will make. Choosing the right college can drastically impact how the next 10, 20, or even 30 years will plain out and I’m not even talking about the quality of education, I’m talking about your student loan debt. Choosing the right college is really confusion so I highly recommend you request the help of a fee only financial planner. One example is Mark Kelly at University Financial Strategies located in Raleigh, NC. Mark helps young families with selecting the right college that will set you on your chosen career path without leaving you with a mountain of student loan debt.
I know all this stuff about budgeting your finances isn’t fun and can be scary if you have a lot of debt, but don’t let it go. If you are 18 or 60+ this stuff applies to everyone. The most important thing is that you start now, like today. Figure out your current net worth, make a solid plan to get rid of your non essential expenses and in invest that money you were spending into a saving or investment account, and if you are going into college or have a child going into college make sure you seek the help of a fee only financial planner to help you choose the best college for you. For more tips on saving to travel more you can check out the video below.