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Top personal finance recommendations for those who are just starting out

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The following is a collaborative post from some of the stars of the personal finance blogging world. I ask them each to provide one or two key strategies for anyone just beginning their personal finance journey.

Cash cow couple

The cash cow couple (cashcowcouple.com) are on a mission to achieve financial freedom while maintaining a healthy, happy life. They offer the following insightful advice:

For individuals just getting starting in personal finance, the most important task is creating systems that make your financial life easier. These systems automate important tasks, freeing up your time for use elsewhere. One great example is a system to track income and expenses (such as Personal Capital). You can't build wealth without spending less than you earn, which requires that you know how much you earn and spend. Another simple example is automating account transfers and payments. If you get paid in regular intervals, you can create processes to automate bill payments, account transfers, and contributions to your retirement accounts.

Out of your rut


Kevin over at Out of your rut (outofyourrut.com) Start the site in with the intention to look for and discuss jobs and business opportunities in places you wouldn't normally think to look. He also looks for expense reduction strategies, savings programs and interesting networking ideas. Kevin advises:

Be intentional about saving money. Make it a priority. It doesn't matter how little you earn. If you delay and decide to start 'some day', you'll condemn yourself to join the majority of people who are best classified as non-savers. The sooner you adopt saving as a regular practice, the more liquid you will be - and liquidity is the key to everything financial. Saving also demonstrates that you can live beneath your means, and that takes out the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle that so many people get trapped in. Start saving now and don't stop

Investegies


Investegies (investegies.co) is helping investors all over the world to build wealth, by focusing on ideas, concepts, and statistically proven investment strategies! Matan at Investegies says:


You need to take a decision (The Sooner The Better), to take a sum of your monthly income, I know it can be very hard, so you can start small and gradually make it bigger.
Put it in an investment account and let the compounding effect to make its magic.
I will give an example:
If you invest in S&P500 (assuming a yield of 8% per year) every month $300 (it's not a lot).
After 10 years you will have $52,799.30
After 20 years you will have $166,141.36
After 30 years you will have $410,838.36
After 40 years you will have $939,120.82

You can play with it in the SEC site Compound Interest Calculator and see how important is the compounding effect (that's why it is so important to start young).

So, make a decision NOW and start to invest a sum of your monthly income.

You literally can make yourself an early retirement.

One Smart Dollar


Sean over at One Smart Dollar (onesmartdollar.com) started his site with the hope of helping people be able to live their life to the fullest yet still be financially responsible. Over the course of life people are all going to have financial mishaps, we just want to limit the frequency of them. Sean offers the following gem of advice:

One piece of advice I can give is that it's always important to make small, easily attainable money goals. Having something that be reached quick, will give you more motivation to get to your larger, long-term goals.

Wealth Artisan


Timothy over at Wealth Artisan (wealthartisan.com) as a goal to provide well thought-out ideas to help you achieve your goals in these areas. Whether you want to get out of debt, or leave the cubicle behind for a business, we’re here to help. Timothy makes the following suggestions:

1. Cash flow is your best friend. Eliminate all unnecessary recurring charges. You can eliminate almost all streaming subscriptions. There is nearly always a free, ad-supported alternative.

2. Throw all extra money, including what you've saved from step 1, at your debts.

3. Automate anything you can. Setup automatic transfers where possible. This will help eliminate the "human element" from the equation. Temptation is not your friend when trying to get your finances in order.

Club Thrifty


Holly and her husband Greg at Club Thrifty (Clubthrifty.com) have been able to ditch their 9-5 jobs, travel the world, and take control of their lives…all because they learned to manage their money. Holly's key tip:

When you're first starting out on the road to financial wellness, the most important thing to do is track your spending. It's impossible to fix what you don't acknowledge, and tracking your spending is the first step to finding out where your money is going. The best way to go about it is to tally up your spending in each important category from the previous month. How much did you spend on food? Entertainment? Savings? Sometimes seeing these totals in black and white is the best way to motivate yourself to change.

My Own Advisor


Mark Seed is one of Canada's leading personal finance and investing bloggers.  He's well on his way to amassing a $1 million investment portfolio for an early retirement.  Follow Mark, along with thousands of his daily readers at My Own Advisor: www.myownadvisor.ca.  Check him out on Twitter at @myownadvisor. Mark's advice was as follows:

Forget the “b” word for a moment (budget).  The most important thing people can do, who are just starting their personal finance journey, is to find out where the heck all their money is going. Millennials (or anyone for that matter) looking to improve their financial situation should focus on this first - and it actually takes little effort:  track your expenses.  Track your expenses every week and every month, for three months.  This will tell you where all your money goes – and that’s very important.

After those three months are up you’ll be able to answer questions like:
What do I spend my money on?
Where do I spend my money?  
How often?
What value does this spending really provide me?

Like any improvement process you can't get better unless you know where you are starting from.  Find out where you are today.  Track your expenses and spending habits.  Write them down.  Review them.  My guess is you'll be shocked at what and where you spend your money.  Then you can see if that spending really aligns with your values and goals. It probably won't.  This means you can start a budget process from there...


Freedom thirty five blog

Liquid is the write and owner of www.freedomthirtyfiveblog.com
Freedom 35 Blog features relevant news and useful commentaries on personal finance, investing, early retirement, and passive income creation. This blog has been featured on publications such as the CBC, The Province, National Post, and The Globe & Mail. Liquid's advice is as follows:


The key is to be flexible and adapt to the changing economic environment. This requires self knowledge and a solid understanding of one's unique financial situation. Understanding removes uncertainty and builds confidence. Confidence leads to a sense of control, purpose, and security. Not understanding one's own disposition and circumstance is the greatest risk to his or her financial well-being.


The-illuminati


Richard at www.the-illuminati.co.uk recommends the following three quick tips:

1. It's easier to say money than earn money, so do that first.
2. Money doesn't make you happy, but it sure makes being miserable easier.
3. Your only three pay cheques away from being homeless, save before you spend.

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