Having a secure sense of financial freedom is one of the most valuable experiences you can endure. While it’s a tough hill to climb, it’s one that will put you at ease with not just how much money you have, but the type of lifestyle you can pursue as well as what opportunities are available for you in the future. And even if you’re thinking that you need to be earning more before you can take saving or investing seriously, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yes, believe it or not, you too can provide yourself with a financially savvy lifestyle, all you need to do is follow a few key steps. Here’s how:

Focus On Savings

Saving money is almost always something people will recommend in trying to get your finances together. It’s perhaps one of the most sound principles out, as savings will give you the security for anything from a rainy day to taking advantage of a new opportunity at hand. Plus, there are just going to be certain things you’ll want to do that’ll require savings one day such as going on vacation, retiring, or even traveling.

The tricky part with saving isn’t necessarily just putting money aside, but knowing exactly how much you can afford to do so. After all, we all want to live healthy, fulfilling lifestyles, and sometimes that requires living in the now.

Savings is about setting aside a portion of your income (recommendations stem from 5% to upwards of 20%) and sticking to it. This number is largely determined by how much you’re currently making, as well as what you prioritize in your lifestyle choices. For example, cutting out spending $5 at the coffee shop every day could save approximately $150 per month. For some, that’s worthwhile if it means they’re able to go on trips with that money, but for others, that cup of coffee gives them a lot of joy. Again, this is a decision of evaluating what makes you the happiest both in the short and long term.

Invest Wisely

Despite the misconceptions, you’re never too young or even too inexperienced to start investing. Not only is this an excellent way to save money, but potentially earn a little more on top of what you already have. Granted, there’s a considerable variation regarding the types of investments you can make (I.E.: Index funds versus something like cryptocurrencies), which will define the type of risk you’re willing to endure. In short, if you’re looking to make fast money then you can’t be afraid to lose fast money. However, if you’re looking for a sustainable choice for saving and growing money over a five to ten year period, then stashing away into the stock market might not be a bad option.

Believe it or not, the trend of millennials starting to enter long-term investment strategies has been a pretty common theme as of late. According to CNBC, a lot of younger generations have begun investing in large tech companies like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix (which, saw a 60% growth over the past year). And if you’re looking to solidify your money, this might not be a bad direction.

Get A Secured Credit Card

Secured credit cards are an incredibly safe and secure way of building credit. As creditrepair.com, a credit repair agency, notes, these cards are essentially designed to help you get on your feet to build credit. These cards require a deposit, which serves as your line of credit, which means you can never default as you’ve already put the money down and are virtually borrowing from yourself. Check this out as an option if you’re just starting out.

Don’t Be Excessive When You Treat Yourself

Even when we save towards a goal, we have this notion that once we’ve achieved that number, then it’s okay to go wild. As tempting as it can be, don’t go overboard as it can leave you in more debt than when you started. In fact, even if you’re considering something like traveling abroad; there are still numerous ways you can save money while on your trip.

Know What Long Term Decisions You Want To Make

As we mentioned above, focusing on slow, stable investments can be a great way to save, but it’s also something you need to keep in mind if you’re looking to making important life decisions over the next couple of years. For example, if the average wedding is $27,698 and you’re seeking to get married within the next five years, then you need to save an average of $462 per month. That’s a high cost for anyone, so pick and choose your battles when it comes to what’s a necessity for your life-long happiness.

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