Tuesday, March 21, 2017

4 Financial Life Lessons That Should Be Obvious

Handling money wisely is often easier said than done. Talking about how your money should be allocated and how you should reign in your spending is one thing, but incorporating these tactics into your everyday life is often easier said than done. Sometimes, we need a little extra push to help steer us in the right direction.

First Bank of the Lake is here to help provide that extra push. Keep reading to find plain, no-nonsense explanations of pieces of financial wisdom that should be obvious, but many people have trouble incorporating into their daily lives.

1. Don't Spend More Than You Earn
You don't have to be a mathematician to figure this one out. The concept is simple: if you spend more than you earn, you won't be able to sustain yourself in long run. Ideally, you should bring in more money than you spend every single month. Life is unpredictable, though, and sometimes big expenses are unavoidable (health insurance premiums, new tires, etc). Spending more than you earn on any given month isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as the scale tips back in the other direction by the end of the year.

2. Keep A Budget
Your budget is the most valuable piece of equipment in your financial toolbox. It allows you to keep track of exactly where your money goes, curb your spending in certain categories so that you don't overspend, and set yourself up for long-term financial success. There are a variety of budgeting strategies you can choose from. Ultimately, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to manage your budget - strategies range from extremely complex to extremely simple. All that matters is that you find a strategy that works for you and that you stick with it. 

3. Use Windfalls Wisely
Every so often, you may find yourself blessed with financial windfalls from various outside sources. You may get a bonus at work, you may inherit money from a deceased family member, or you may get a sizable tax refund. No matter where this extra money comes from, it's important to use it wisely. Most people use the extra cash to buy a new TV or other fun purchase, but we encourage you to use it to your advantage. Put it towards your highest-interest debt, your mortgage, or your retirement account. Allocating your windfall towards these types of purposes will pay off great dividends in the long run.

4. Plan For The Future
When it comes to managing your money, planning for the future is one of the most important steps you can take. No matter where you are currently at in life, it's important to look ahead. Your first step should be to build an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses that may present. Your next step should be to set up a retirement account and begin contributing to it regularly, no matter how old you are. Retirement may seem incredibly far off while you're still in your twenties, but by beginning your retirement contributions now, you'll have lots of time for compound interest to work in your favor.

First Bank Of The Lake Can Help Set You Up For Financial Success
We can all use a little help from our friends every now and then. Our community bank at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you. Our new Kasasa services are designed to position you for long-term success. We offer high-interest savings accounts at the Lake of the Ozarks as well as cash back checking account options. For more information about our bank in Osage Beach MO, visit our website: www.FirstBankLake.com

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway
Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

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