SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 2021
These 7 simple things will help you save better and lay the foundation for your wealth
- Even small changes can help save money - and the right attitude. The first step is to be aware of it, experts say.
- If you want to spend less money, you should avoid impulse purchases and automate saving by setting a fixed amount.
- When building wealth, it’s important to realise that even small amounts will pay off in the long run - if you invest them.
If you want to save, you should spend less money than you earn - the rule of thumb is simple, but in practice it often fails to be implemented. Even small changes can have a big effect.
The best example is the already famous take-away coffee, the abandonment of which is repeatedly sold as essential by financial experts. After all, saving two to three dollar a day will bring you about 1,000 dollar at the end of each year, which you can invest profitably. According to a study, the average annual return on shares is about seven to eight percent. So after ten years, you would have earned a return of about 4,000 dollar.
If you still want to treat yourself to a cup of coffee, there are many other things you can do in your everyday life.
So financial planning starts with small things. This doesn’t just apply to amounts, but also to minimal changes in your attitude. In order to lay the foundation for better financial planning, you should orientate yourself on these seven things
Change your attitude
Only a lot becomes a lot, many think when it comes to wealth - and they are making a big mistake. Such prejudices are already formed during childhood, knows financial blogger Margarethe Honisch: “You should question your own beliefs, especially the negative ones. Often, your parents’ attitude towards money is transferred to you.” In doing so, you can ask yourself what your parents’ attitude to finances is and how you see it yourself. “Is it a positive or negative topic for me?” asks Honisch. If you see it negatively, you tend to neglect your own financial planning. “That has consequences and affects your whole life,” says Honisch. It is better to set goals and ask yourself how they can be achieved. Instead of sentences like “I will never be able to fulfil this dream”, it is better to ask “How can I generate this sum?
How much do you buy and what do you really need?
Experts assume that every American owns about 10,000 things - no wonder, since we are bombarded with just as many advertisements every day. But you can also live well with less, as extreme savers like frugalists show.
Financial author Honisch recommends avoiding impulse purchases. “Before making a major purchase, you should think about it for at least a week. When shopping online, you can leave the goods in your digital shopping basket for three days and then ask yourself again whether you really want to buy them,” she explains. It also helps to calculate your net wage and find out how long you would have to work for a certain purchase.
It pays to compare account fees
Moving your account to another bank seems like too much trouble to save a few euros a month? Financial expert Saidi Sulilatu recommends doing it anyway, because: “At the end of the year, it’s a matter of having or not having 60 dollar.” Fees can be charged not only for the account itself, but also for services such as cash deposits or when using a credit card. That is why it is advisable to compare banks, for example on the account fee calculator of Stiftung Warentest. “At a bank with no fees at all, you can save 100 to 150 dollar a year,” says Finanztip expert Sulilatu.
Buying in instalments does not pay off
It sounds tempting: paying off the next online purchase for the spring wardrobe, the Thermomix or even the first car month after month without paying interest on it. But in reality, even this quick solution, which is now offered on almost every online shop, remains a loan that anticipates future income. “Future income is never 100 per cent certain, so I would generally avoid instalment financing,” says Sulilatu. Zero-percent financing also discourages consumers from comparing, buying where financing is available, not where the product is cheapest. Sulilatu recommends comparison websites like idealo.de for larger purchases.
A fixed savings rate automates saving
According to expert Sulilatu, anyone who resolves to save but does not set this out with a monthly instalment will have a hard time. “A standing order that goes out after the salary is received mainly has a psychological effect. This is called automated saving,” he says. Those who plan to save what is left at the end of the month are either under pressure to do without things or are disappointed at the end and have a bad conscience about having spent too much. The savings rate depends on the level of income, but Sulilatu recommends 20 per cent, half of which goes into short-term investments such as call money accounts and half into long-term investments such as shares.
“I’ll take care of it later”.
Many people use this phrase to avoid planning their own finances. They often use the excuse that they earn too little or have not yet saved enough. If you really don’t have any money left over for investments, you should improve your income, especially salary increases and additional income. It would be wrong to wait for employers to offer more money on their own. “Basically, it is up to me when I ask for a salary increase. A good time is after the probationary period or also when the tasks have changed,” says Honisch. Investments in one’s own human capital must also be taken seriously. What skills will be an advantage in the future, what might the company be willing to pay more for? If you find yourself at a dead end when it comes to salary, changing jobs is the last option.
Young people don’t like to think about their pensions, but they should, finds financial expert Sulilatu. Because poverty in old age is increasingly becoming a problem due to the pension gap, as the German Institute for Economic Research, among others, found out.
Yet the basics are simple. “Everything that offers interest hardly brings good returns anymore, for example a building society contract or savings books. That’s why you can only build up assets in the long term with shares and funds that you hold for at least 15 years,” Sulilatu explains. An alternative for old-age provision would be to own real estate. But here the conditions are higher, especially for people who live in urban areas. With an average income, they need a lot of equity and have to be prepared to pay off high loans.
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