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Pillars of Personal Finance

“Understanding personal finance is essential for building financial resilience. It enables you to weather unexpected financial storms, overcome setbacks, and bounce back stronger than ever.” – Jean Chatzky

Picture a world where personal finance is no longer a source of anxiety, but rather a source of empowerment and control. Where you can achieve your wildest dreams, whether that’s traveling the world, buying your dream car, or retiring comfortably

Guess what? That world can be your reality!

But Hey, Before you get lost in your daydreams, Let me remind you of something important – To achieve financial freedom, it’s important to have a good understanding of personal finance. 

But don’t worry, it’s not rocket science! The key is to focus on the pillars of personal finance – they’re like the building blocks of financial success. Let’s dive in and learn more about them together!

Think of the Pillars as the foundation for your financial house. Each one plays a critical role in building a solid base that can withstand any financial storm. 

By mastering these Pillars, you’ll have the tools to manage your money with ease and confidence.

So let’s start with the backbone of your personal finance plan.

What is Income?

It is the money that makes our world go round. It’s the cash we earn from our jobs, side hustles, and investments, and it’s what enables us to live our lives to the fullest. But income is more than just numbers on a paycheck – it’s the key to unlocking our financial goals and dreams.

Imagine this – you’re planning a weekend getaway with your friends, but your budget is tight. Without enough income, you might have to skip out on the fun, leaving you feeling FOMO (fear of missing out). Or maybe you’re dreaming of buying a new car or a house, but without enough income, it feels like an impossible dream. That’s where understanding and managing your income comes in. It’s about making sure you have enough money to cover your bills, save for your future, and still have some left over for the things that bring you joy. 

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? A SINGLE SOURCE OF INCOME is not enough.

I understand that relying on a single source of income can be challenging. But have no fear, there are plenty of side hustles you can try to earn extra cash without taking up too much of your time.

In fact, we’ve got a treasure trove of articles on this very subject that are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Whether you’re interested in freelancing, starting a small business, or finding ways to monetize your hobbies, we’ve got you covered. So why not take a look and see what ideas strike your fancy? Who knows, you might just discover a side hustle that not only helps pad your bank account but also brings a little extra joy to your life.

To make sure your income is working for you, it’s crucial to keep track of it using tools like Mint or YNAB. These apps help you keep an eye on your finances and ensure you’re making the most of your income. So go ahead and make that money rain, but don’t forget to keep an eye on it too!

Let's talk about the second pillars of personal finance – Spending

It’s both the joy and the bane of our existence, isn’t it? We all love to indulge in the little pleasures of life, but we also know that too much of it can leave us in a financial pinch. So, how do we find that sweet spot between splurging and saving? It can be a bit of a balancing act, but don’t worry – you don’t have to give up all the things you love and become a hermit.

For example, you can use cashback apps and loyalty programs to earn rewards and discounts on your everyday purchases. Who doesn’t love getting a little something extra for their loyalty? Plus, it can really add up over time and help you save money on groceries, clothing, and other expenses.

So go ahead and treat yourself – just remember to keep an eye on your spending and find ways to save where you can. With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can maintain a healthy balance between spending and saving that supports both your current needs and your future aspirations.

Let's delve into the fundamental cornerstone of personal finance: Savings

Building an emergency savings fund is the third and arguably most crucial component of personal finance. Suppose you wake up one day and discover that your car won’t start. You take it to the mechanic and learn that it requires a costly repair that you had not planned for.

You begin to panic since you lack the funds to pay for the expense, and you do not want to incur interest by putting it on your credit card. Now, picture a different situation: You wake up to the same problem with your car, but this time, you have an emergency savings account. You can pay for the repair without any stress or anxiety.

This is the power of savings – it can provide you with a financial safety net that can give you peace of mind in unexpected circumstances.

Think of savings as your financial cushion. It’s money you put aside for the future, whether it’s for a rainy day, a down payment on a house, or retirement. Just like putting money in a piggy bank, you’re setting aside a portion of your income for a specific purpose.

So don’t wait to start saving. Even small amounts can add up over time. And with the help of technology, it’s never been easier to automate your savings and watch your money grow. So go ahead and take that first step towards a more financially secure future – your future self will thank you! Ugh, I know, I know. Saving money can seem like it’s all rainbows and unicorns, but let’s be real, it can also be a bit of a headache and feel pretty daunting. 

But hey, I’ve got some good news for you – there’s a little catch to this that might just change your mind! 

And It’s AUTOMATE YOUR SAVINGS

Automating your savings simply means setting up a system that allows a predetermined amount of money to be automatically transferred from your checking account to your savings account at regular intervals. This can be set up through your bank or financial institution’s online banking platform, and can be scheduled to occur weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

One of the biggest benefits of automating your savings is that it takes the burden off of you to remember to save money each month. Instead, the process becomes automatic, and you can focus on other things in your life without worrying about whether you’re saving enough. Another benefit of automating your savings is that it makes it easier to save consistently.

When you set up automatic transfers, you’re essentially creating a habit of saving money, which can be hard to do on your own. By making it a habit, you’re more likely to stick to it and reach your savings goals. But automation doesn’t just make saving money easier – it can also make it more engaging and fun. Many banks and financial institutions offer rewards programs for customers who save money consistently, and some even offer gamified saving features that make saving money feel like a game.

For example, some banks offer savings challenges where you can earn rewards for meeting certain savings goals, or savings accounts that offer higher interest rates for customers who meet certain criteria. 

In addition to rewards programs and gamification, automation can also help you track your progress towards your savings goals. By setting up automatic transfers and monitoring your savings account regularly, you can see how your savings are growing over time and make adjustments to your budget as needed.

Welcome to the fourth and most exciting pillars of personal finance - Investing!

After all, what’s the point of saving all those dollars if they’re just going to sit in your piggy bank? By investing your hard-earned money in various financial instruments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate, you can potentially make even more money from your money!

But investing is not just a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires research, knowledge, and patience. Just like planting a seed, it takes time for your investments to grow and bear fruit. But with the right strategy and a diversified portfolio, you can reap the rewards of your hard work and patience in the form of returns and increased income potential.

So don’t let your hard-earned dollars sit idly in your wallet or bank account. Let them stretch their legs and work some financial magic for you. Start exploring the world of investing and discover the endless possibilities for growing your wealth.

Hey there! Let's talk about the importance of protection in personal finance

You work hard to earn your money and build your assets, so it’s essential to safeguard them against any risks or uncertainties that might come your way. This is where protection comes in.

Protection involves various insurance and risk management strategies that help protect your assets, income, and overall well-being. Without it, you would be at the mercy of the economy, and unexpected expenses or losses could quickly derail your finances.

Think of it this way – playing with financial risks without proper protection is like playing a game of Russian Roulette. It’s not worth the gamble.

By taking the time to understand your financial situation and risks, and investing in proper protection measures, you can take back control of your finances and ensure that you have enough money to meet your needs. A reliable financial advisor can help guide you on the best protection strategies that fit your objectives and goals. So don’t leave your finances vulnerable – protect yourself and your money today!

Level – 3

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