Ah, the sweet smell of moderate success. You’ve got a stable job, a lease without a cosign, and you’ve finally obtained a modest disposable income which funds all your weekend gallivanting. But, that feeling. You know, the Suzy Orman/Angelina hybrid on your shoulder urging you to spend your extra money a little more responsibly. You know, support your community, go to the dentist, acquire an adequate emergency fund… grow the fuck up?
Artwork: Mark Wagner
YOU SHOULD BE BALLIN’ – BUT ONLY ON A BUDGET
Getting bottles at the club may seem fun. We mean, hey, we like exclusivity and space as much as the next person, but the pricetag is often one we’re not prepared to see on our credit card bills a month later. Ivan M. Illán, our resident financial sage, tells us, “The biggest mistake that people in their 20s and our 30s make, is living way beyond your current means, in the hope of one day living up to the level of accumulated debt.” Sound familiar to you? Take out your credit card statements and analyze what you’re spending on. Figure out how much you should be spending and saving, and make it a regimen. If you can dedicate a couple hours each week to the gym, you can do this too.
PREPARE FOR DISASTER
What? They’ve run out of Haagen Dasz caramel cone ice cream? What’s a sugar-craving fiend to do? Oh, sorry, that’s not the kind of disaster we’re talking about. Your stomach may be growling now, but imagine a life without ice cream or any food at all! Okay, we might be exaggerating here, but part of financial health is simply planning for the future and all the bumps along the way. Prepare for the hiccups by putting money away each month, investing, and getting insurance for things you didn’t even know you needed – like disability income and retirement plan insurance. Also consider getting life insurance, you know, in case all those tubs of ice cream get to you some day.
VOLUNTEER, YOU DICKHEAD
You may not be rich in cash, but you can be swimmin’ in karma. Consider dedicating a couple of hours a month to causes you’re interested in and you’ll not only help out a cash-strapped organization, but you’ll feel better about yourself too. Can you do social media? Take photos? Design? Trade hangover-guilt for glowing feelings of virtuosity by donating your skills rather than taking on the prototypical soup kitchen duties. Skills like yours can normally cost cash-strapped non-profits big bucks per hour, so simply donating some of your time can be invaluable. And besides, experts like Ivan point out, “We have the technology now where someone in LA can do something amazing for an organization in the Midwest,” so don’t underestimate your ability to contribute to a greater cause.
Ivan M. Illán, CFS, is Founder and Managing Partner at Aligne Wealth, LLC, a wealth preservation and insurance services company. Read our blog and want to dig a little deeper? Learn more from the experts at Aligne Wealth, LLC and how they can help you meet your financial needs and objectives a.k.a #getmoney