With so much news related to the global economy in recent months, it's no surprise that many people are starting to look for ways to improve their own financial situation. However, it can be intimidating to get into the world of online trading or to consider an investment in new assets. Cryptocurrency and the NFT industry have also been major factors in driving interest in investing among younger people. If you want to start keeping better track of your expenses, keep reading to learn how you can find out exactly what you're spending money on.
What are you spending your money on?
Interest in investing has grown over the past few years, especially with the popularity of new alternative investments like crypto. While it's a good idea to invest, it's important that you choose the right assets to buy and the right trading platforms to use for managing your investments. Questrade is one of the most popular discount brokers in Canada for those looking to start putting together a portfolio. Since the Questrade inactivity fee has been eliminated, that makes it one of the few brokers without an annual fee, which is perfect for investors who don't want to spend extra money.
With the holidays on the way, it's no surprise that many people are shopping for plenty of gifts from companies like Mattel. Splurging on treasured classic Christmas gifts like American Girl dolls, Barbies, and hot wheels will be much easier if you monitor your spending and invest carefully in the months prior. It's actually a financially prudent idea to invest in quality toys like Mattel creations. Many kids take care of their favorite Barbie doll for years, unlike some toys that are discarded within a few weeks.
The fact that it's so easy to lose track of spending, especially during the holiday season, is one of the reasons why making a budget is so important. Managing your savings and investments throughout the course of the year will make it easier to know what you can afford to spend on special occasions. You'll also have more money for treats and extras if you improve your money management strategy.
How else can you improve your financial health?
Evaluating your spending on investments and discretionary items is only one of many steps you should consider taking to get yourself into better financial shape. If you don't already have an emergency fund, it's a good idea to start by creating one. You should always have three to six months' worth of expenses in a savings account that you can tap into in the event of some type of emergency.
Debt management is also an essential part of any financial plan. If you have significant debt, you'll need to make a plan for reducing it, even if your progress will be slower than you would like. High-interest debt, particularly credit card debt, should be your first priority. Then you can work towards paying off bills that won't accrue as much interest over time. You should also look into what debt consolidation options may be available to you, which can reduce your monthly payments.
It'll be easier to pick up new toys or treat yourself to a night out if you feel comfortable with your financial health. Most of us could benefit from an audit of our finances to find out where and how we're spending most of our money. You can then figure out what you can afford to invest, what you need to save, and how much discretionary income you'll have left over. Whether you prefer individual stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds, or want to pursue alternative assets like cryptocurrency, it's never a bad time to begin developing an investment strategy that will help you meet your financial goals.