A Good tip:
Start saving 10% of every dollar you make. The old adage “Pay yourself first” applies here. When you get paid, always ear mark at least 10% for yourself. In my checking account, I have the habit of always making a transfer of 10% of whatever I deposit. So if I deposit a check for $1000 into my checking… guess what? $100 of will go into my savings system.
I know some smart savers who do even more, 15-20%.
Some savers put the money in a savings account for an emergency account (3 months expenses), others for future purchases like a house down payment, wedding costs, or expensive one-time purchases.
Personally, I invest most of the 10% I save, in my Solo 401(k) plan. That way I get the triple benefit of a lower taxable income, tax deferred gains in the 401(k) plan, as well as qualifying for the Savers Credit on my yearly taxes.
A Better tip:
For every dime I spend on my tax representation/preparation business, Authoritax.com, I make sure it gets spent through my business travel rewards credit card.
At the end of the year I cash in my points and take my family on a nice vacation somewhere warm... last year it was to Hawaii.
It doesn't matter what is being bought, as long as it's a business expense for Authoritax.com, I use my Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card.
Expenses I bought with the card: office supplies, rental cars/hotel rooms for business trips, professional fees, continuing education tuition, business meals and even cell phone bills. The monthly, recurring office bills really help rack up the bonus points too!
I look at it this way; the money is going to be spent in my business anyways, why shouldn't my family and me get a nice benefit from it?
The BEST tip:
Realize that the biggest obstacle to becoming great at money management is YOU. You have to get smarter financially; there is a lot to learn.
In my personal life, until I understood that I needed to put myself “back to school” by reading financial information (books, websites), listening to and learning from people who I admired for their financial success, and choosing to model my behaviors and beliefs after those who already had what I wanted, I never got where I wanted to be.
Begin your journey by seeking out those more financially advanced/secure than you and email/contact them; ask them for tips or tricks. You’ll be surprised who will send a message back to you.