There is a lot of pressure for men to be financially successful. While the rise of stay-at-home dads is a welcomed cultural shift, not every man’s end game is settling down and raising a family. For others, it’s simply not an option for one parent to quit working and support the family on their partner’s income. You could also be a hard-working individual who loves the hustle and wants to grow your wealth while doing what you love.
But the secret to unlocking your true earning potential isn’t just endlessly grinding and saving. What principles do the most successful Wall Street brokers have that you don’t know? A larger salary might give them a head start, but they wouldn’t become millionaires if they didn’t know how to manage their money. That’s where these tips come in. More time obviously gives you greater savings, but men in their 40s and 50s are able to start improving their financial outlook just as much as a man in his 20s. No matter your age, these money management tips can help you save for retirement and enjoy more financial freedom while you’re still working.
Don’t Underestimate Investments
Practical investments like life insurance are an easy way to put your money toward something bigger in the future. Home equity loans are also a popular way people fund retirement and large expenses as they pay off their mortgages. Whole and universal life insurance give you a cash value that you can look into selling a life insurance policy later. If you wait until you’re 65, you could come into a hefty lump sum in addition to your social security benefits.
Many men overlook the need for life insurance, especially if they’re single or unmarried. Make sure you give it a second thought as an investment opportunity. You can learn everything you need to about selling life insurance online, including how to estimate your policy’s worth and how to find the best buyer. You should also look into your company’s stock options. You can actually deduct taxes from capital losses and gains, so there’s an umbrella of protection that make company stock investments a worthy pursuit for someone who has the opportunity.
Take a Fair Salary for Better Job Security
Someone who is overpaid for their position is more likely to be let go when the company decides to cut back and optimize their budget. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been there or what you’ve accomplished. Producers and managers who invested 20 years into their companies have been let go on grounds of restructuring. A fair salary is one that gives you the ability to easily cover your rent or mortgage, bills, food and living expenses and put away at least 10 percent of your annual income into savings. That may sound like a lofty ambition for many, but it sets the standard for what you should be demanding in the workplace.
In reality, earning a fair salary also boils down to where you live. Someone who wants to live in Manhattan, New York, will have to earn a lot more than someone who resides on Long Island. You have to balance your ambitions with your earning potential. If you realize that you can’t strike the right price with your current skill set or education level, then it’s time to consider shifting gears. Investing in yourself is the best way to earn more, but you also have to make sure that you choose a field that compensates you fairly. In other words, make sure you get paid what you’re worth and earn what you deserve, not just what an employer will give.
Make Saving a Habit
Put your savings aside before you even look at your expenses for the month. Obviously, you should never avoid paying your dues to put money in the bank, but you should consider savings just as important as your monthly debts. Saving 10 to 15 percent of your monthly income is ideal, but anything is better than $0. A long-term savings plan should look different than short-term. For example, in terms of a savings strategy, how to pay for your wedding should look different than how to pay for retirement.
You can automate savings using a budgeting app, but it’s helpful to first consider what you want to put money toward. For example, someone with plans to retire early will need a high-yield savings account that multiples their investments quickly. The more you put in, the more you get out, so you can double your investment in 10 or 20 years. An emergency fund, however, may give you some more wiggle room in how much you invest or how much you ultimately feel comfortable settling for. Determine your goal for each savings plan and choose the right type of account and budget accordingly. This gives you more flexibility and helps you take advantage of all the different options.
Start Small to Avoid Burnout
It’s difficult to look at a $10,000 savings goal and feel like you can make it. You’ll look at your bills, debts and all the random costs that pop up throughout the year and quickly hit a wall. At some point, you may just figure it’s not going to happen and give up saving that year altogether. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Instead, choose a smaller goal that you can tackle each week. If you are determined to put away $100 this month, then you’ll be more likely to find ways to make it work. You may skip that $20 lunch out or decide to stay home instead of hit the bar this weekend. It all adds up, and it’s easier to visualize your savings as realistic goals when they’re short-term and realistic.
Another important thing to remember as you work on improving your money management is that perseverance is key. Building a resilient attitude toward your savings and other financial goals will lead to much better results. Someone who thinks they have to achieve everything otherwise his efforts are completely worthless likely won’t succeed as much as he wants to. Those who triumph in their careers do so because they respond well to a challenge. Don’t let yourself give up after your first, fifth or fifteenth setback. Instead, aim to learn from every setback and resolve yourself to do better next time.