Life is expensive. It's also not getting cheaper any time in the near future. However, with some practical advice, I've been able to make the most out of each payday and save up for retirement. Today I'm going to share these my two cents with you guys on how to be financially fit!
Rule number one, don't go to the grocery store hungry. Sounds silly right? However, I did a little test with myself. Ever time I went to the grocery store after a meal I saved a ton of money. Usually, it was the junk food and high sugar items we had cut out. There is something addictive about carbs and sugary items and how they are marketed that have that instant gratification trigger in our brain. Often times those things are cheap if you buy just one, but when we're hungry we think "Why not," and buy eight bags of potato chips and three gallons of ice cream...oh that's just me? Just kidding folks. When we're hungry our eyes turn out to be bigger than our stomach and we tend to go overboard instead of buying what we need. That's where a grocery list of essentials comes in handy as well. Don't make the list when you're hungry either!As soon as you start your career, start your retirement. A little bit can go a long way over the course of twenty or thirty years. Even if your contribution is only say, $25 a month, you'll be doing yourself a favor by getting the interest going early. Speaking of retirement, when choosing between IRA (individual retirement account) there are two types, Roth and Traditional IRA's. The Roth IRA taxes the money upfront so that when you retire, it's tax-free, the Traditional IRA, does just the opposite, it taxes the money when you withdraw it. Depending on your circumstances one of them will be right for you.
Last but not least, I'm going to recommend buying a house over renting. While renting can be more affordable in the short term, saving up money and purchasing a house will allow you to build equity in something and improve its value over the course of your life. Be careful to not overextend yourself on the home you buy. I would err on the side of smaller first, fix it up a little bit and then either sell it or rent it out and move up a size.