Completely Unsolicited Financial Advice

Why write about some completely unsolicited financial advice? I was just reading friend Mitch Mitchell’s blog post 20 Personal Finance Ideas. And, although it’s off-topic from the usual topics that I write about (ROI, social media, and some blah blah blah), I thought I’d give everyone my two cents. Actually, that’s more like 25 cents now because of inflation and the Pandemic. That’s a joke. But seriously, people don’t talk about money very often. And they should! So here are some simple ideas that have helped me. By the way, I’m not a financial expert, and a lot of this stuff is advice that your friends, parents, or grandparents might tell you.

Save as much as possible

When I was just starting out as a lowly tech writer about one million years ago, a friend of mine told me to “max out my 401K.” For me that was usually 18% or 20%, which went right into the company 401K. Of course, you need to have enough to live on, so paying the rent and buying food have to be your first priorities. But in general, that advice is something I’ve lived by. If you can do this, you’ll be happy you did later when you need it. Start by getting that proverbial three months of living expenses in the bank. Work your way up to six months of living expenses, and so on.

Take classes or read

If you’re lucky, your company will offer classes or workshops on investing and finances. Take every class you can. Read all you can. Figure out how you learn (for me, learning in person is best), and do that. Some people need one on one instruction. Others like video. I’m an in-person person. So workshops or mentors have been best for me. To find out what kind of learning style you have, you could try a class. But I’ll bet you already know.

Image by <a href="">0fjd125gk87</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Completely Unsolicited Financial Advice| Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay

Hang out with smart people

One of my friends had a goal to make $50,000 in the stock market besides what he was making at his job. That was fascinating to watch and to learn about. He reached that goal fairly quickly and became very well off at a young age. Most people will give you advice if you ask. And it costs nothing to ask. The point is to hang out with smart people. And you might not know who they are, because often they won’t tell you! So watch and listen carefully.

Ready for more unsolicited financial advice? Learn to budget!

All you need to budget is a spreadsheet. You can use Excel or a Google sheet, and you’re set. At least once, you need to see where your money is going. Is most of it going to groceries? Fuel? Rent? Where can you cut those expenses? Most of the people I know (who are struggling) have never created a budget. It might sound boring to live within your means, but it’s a basic survival skill.

Cook your own food

Learn to make a few dishes. Now that there’s YouTube, you can learn just about anything. Unless you make enough money to either buy ready-made meals or go out to eat all the time, you’ll be happy to be able to cook. Yes, sandwiches count. And also–guess what? Cooking is one of the easiest ways to save money (there’s that budget word again). Seriously, look at your budget and see where you can cut back. Cooking at home is one of the best ways.

Get a financial advisor

You might think you can manage your own portfolio, but can you really? I thought I could, but I was wrong! It’s not something I want to check every day–I’d rather be doing something else. So ask friends who their financial advisor is. Interview a few. Do they talk to you in a way that you understand? Do they offer education? Those are both important.

You’re welcome!

I’m kinda joking, but did I miss anything? Let me know!




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