Consumer Debt and Retirement Planning – How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Debt
Personal finance is the strategic financial management that an individual or a household performs annually to plan, save, and invest money over a lifetime, considering various future life events and financial risks. It considers how money is used, both for personal and business purposes, to eliminate debt, purchase assets, and support retirement and other long-term financial plans. The funds in a person’s or family’s personal portfolio are used to meet different needs, including education, home and healthcare expenses, as well as investments. As such, the term also encompasses financial planning that impacts the entire family.
Saving is one of the three pillars of personal finance. By setting aside a certain amount each month, an individual or family can ensure a secure financial future by the accomplishment of their financial goals. Most individuals and families who work long hours want to make sure that their children have access to quality education and healthcare. Similarly, long-term investors want to ensure that their wealth is not lost. In essence, saving is about the realization of long-term financial security for personal and business goals.
Another key pillar of personal finance is money management. Money management refers to a person or family’s ability to plan and organize his or her finances for the purpose of achieving financial goals. Proper money management skills are taught and reinforced at a young age, as it is considered as the foundation for all other financial decisions. Proper money management is therefore an essential part of every educational curriculum.
Finally, the last major pillar of personal finance education is the ability to set and stick to realistic and accurate budgeting and saving habits. An effective budgeting system allows a person or family to plan for future expenses and take necessary precautionary measures. Moreover, a sound financial decision-making system ensures that a family conserves its resources for the future. This also makes it easier for families to meet their current needs and wants without worrying about their future. Thus, a sound financial decision-making process is an integral part of every educational program on personal finance.
The above mentioned pillars all work hand-in-hand with one another to make sure that a person achieves his or her financial goals and saves enough for the future. All said and done, if you want to achieve your financial goals and be on track toward retirement, you have to be disciplined and committed to saving and planning for retirement. In fact, discipline should be your ultimate virtue when it comes to your finances. As the saying goes: “A disciplined mind can face difficulties; a disciplined body can achieve endless heights.”
If you are looking for ways to get out of debt, you can start by cutting down unnecessary expenses. As the old saying goes, “the ends just might meet.” Next, learn and implement the principles of personal finance and spend according to your income. Lastly, educate yourself with all the available information regarding effective saving, spending and money management so you know what you really need to do in order to achieve all your financial goals and ultimately achieve your retirement goals. All these things can be learned through various methods such as personal finance education, financial literacy and the use of the internet, among others.