How to Map a Successful Future with Budgeting

Live in the now is an overly used quote in today’s society. In one way it tells people to experience every day like it’s the last one, don’t sweat the small stuff and stop to smell the roses. This is good advice for many and should be adhered to in order to live a long and healthy life.

On the other hand, others take the advice in another direction. They feel the quote means to spend frivolously, rack up debt and basically not care. You probably know some of these types. They’re the ones who rarely have cash on hand, pay everything with credit and complain about their insurmountable debt. And when you ask these people why they don’t budget or spend more carefully, their answer is usually something like “Why? I can’t take it with me when I die.”

Unless an asteroid or zombie plague strikes, it’s pretty certain that you’ll live longer than you think. Sure, it may only be a few years but that means there is a future where that person may get married, purchase a home or start a family. Reckless spending prior to those life events can leave a person unprepared for those and, in the case of their untimely demise, set a large debt on their family.

This is why a budget is important, no matter if you’re single or a happily married spouse with three children. This simple financial plan can establish a base for building a successful future where your partner and children are set in case of an emergency or sudden loss. Here are a few tips to consider when planning your upcoming success.

1. Strive to be debt free.  A bank account with $1 million dollars is great. Having it while your debt is $2 million isn’t. A successful future starts with a debt free household. It may require cutting some extras, generating additional income and general sacrifice. It may be painful, yet the end result will be a release of pressure you never knew existed.

2. Go without credit. There are no two ways about it — credit cards are not the future. Cash is the way to go these days. Not only does this keep you out of debt but it allows you to keep better check on the budget. In other words, what you see on the ledger sheet is what’s available to spend.

3. Invest for a successful future. The first two tips help establish a foundation for success. Investing in IRAs, 401(k)s, mutual funds and other long-term plans aide in the construction for solid success. The maximum percentage of contribution should be made to these types of investments once all debts are paid and there’s an emergency fund ready to go.

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