Managing your personal finances requires a balance between what you need and want today and what you’ll need and want in the future. Always going for instant gratification leads to constant dissatisfaction! Instead, plan ahead by using the following tips:

  • Write down your goals. Be specific and revisit them annually.

  • Save at least the first 10 percent of your income.

  • Set up your savings and investing to occur automatically.

  • Don’t miss out on free money from the matching contribution in your employer’s retirement plan or the phenomenal benefits of the Roth IRA.

  • Don’t use credit if you can’t pay cash. Credit cards are convenience tools, not loans. If you can’t afford it today, you can’t afford to pay twice as much over time. Going into debt gives others control of your financial freedom.

  • Before spending money, always ask yourself, “How will this affect my net worth?”

Remember: Nobody will watch out for your money better than you, and everybody wants a piece of what you have!