4 things you can do every payday to secure your financial future

secure your financial future

Payday! Everyone’s favorite day. For many, it’s the only reason they continue to work their 9-5. But despite working hard for your money, you may not be doing the things you can do every payday to secure your financial future.

Here are 4 things you can do every payday if you find yourself struggling to secure your financial future

Contribute to your employer’s saving plan

The best way to save for your future goals is to set that money aside before you even have a chance to spend it. Employer plans allow you to automatically deduct pretax dollars to contribute to retirement. Because the money is deducted pretax, there’s an excellent chance you may not even notice the reduction in pay. And often times you receive an employer match or partial contribution as well! This is why even if you’re still in your debt repayment journey, this is something you should consider.

Pay what you owe and settle your debts

Paying your bills on time secures your credit history and rating. Your credit rating impacts your ability to rent items or purchase a home, so maintaining a good credit score is important.

If you have debt outside of your mortgage, eliminating it should be your top priority. Every day you stay in debt is a day you pay interest and are putting money in the pockets of the banks rather than in your own. We need to stop this. If you carry any debt, allocate as much money as you can in your budget to get that eliminated as quickly as possible.

Debt can be leveraged in positive ways and credit cards can be useful tools, but these principles only apply when your debt and spending habits are under control.

Save for a rainy day (and a sunny one!)

Saving an emergency fund mitigates relying on credit to stay afloat when an emergency hits. If my many trips around the sun have taught me anything, it’s that Murphy will always come a knockin’.

And if the pandemic taught us anything else, it’s that anything (and I mean anything) truly can happen at anytime. Global shutdown, anyone?

2020 and 2021 saw countless workers furloughed or let go entirely. Entire industries, giant industries at that, were completely shut down. Government aid was often available, but approval was tedious and the amount provided wasn’t always enough to cover it all.

An emergency fund is your lifeline in such situations.

The popular recommendation is 3-6 months worth of living expenses, but your situation or level of comfort may require more. As a single income household, I keep a 9 month fully funded emergency fund. It’s more cash sitting idle than I would like, but it provides the peace of mind I need knowing I’ll be able to support my household when the sky should fall. Notice I said when, not if. 

On a lighter note, sinking funds help secure your financial future by keeping you from incurring debt or dipping into yours emergency savings. While events like subscription renewals, birthdays, vacations, and the holidays are not monthly events, they are expected events and can be budgeting monthly. And of course there is travel. Wouldn’t it be nice to fund your vacation with cash and not have to stress of a credit card bill on return?

Plan for these items and save money monthly for these events and you’ll never have to dip into savings or incur debt again.

And finally, invest in yourself to secure your financial future

This could mean contributing additional funds to your savings or retirement accounts, allocating funds to self development activities, or dedicating money to the practice of self care. 

While saving extra for retirement is an obvious suggestion in an article about securing your financial future, the other points may not seem as obvious.

Self development activities contribute to your growth as an individual, often resulting in professional and financial growth. Practicing self care will go a long way to ensuring long term health and longevity. Making good food choices, experiencing sufficient physical activity, and working on your mental health will keep you healthier longer and mitigate the need for future (often expensive) healthcare costs.

There is no wealth without health, so whatever this looks like for you, optimize your budget to make these funds available. 

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