Back in 2011 Kevin Hart put out the popular “Laugh at My Pain” stand-up special. In this special was one of his more famous bits, the “Financial Lane” piece. The humorous anecdotes Hart shares in this routine all revolve around the age-old concept of Keeping up with the Joneses and demonstrate the pitfalls of lifestyle inflation and lifestyle creep. In short, Hart doles out some sound financial advice that we all can relate to by sharing the funny aspects of when you hang out with athletes or when you meet other people that make money.
Personal finance is an ongoing responsibility. Kevin Hart may describe himself as a money moron, but he knows what needs to be done to stay in your lane even when you realize your dream and start to make money at a much higher rate than before achieving financial freedom. The following tips will help anyone with a bank account learn what needs to be done to achieve financial goals while adhering to the basics strategies about staying in your financial lane.
Staying in Your Lane Leads to Financial Freedom
Staying in your financial lane means keeping your expenses less than your income. Of course, this is easier said than done and people tend to divert from their financial lane without noticing it. Savings, loans, emergency funds, and credit cards can distract you from being in your financial lane, as these allow you to acquire more things than your income would allow. So how does someone stay within their financial lane?
Study how much you make
First step in staying in your financial lane is to know how much you make each month. Memorize your annual salary, monthly and even your hourly rate, so you can make yourself aware of what you can and can’t spend each month. Aside from the net amount of your income, you should know when you get your paycheck so you can streamline it with your monthly expenses. By doing this, you lessen the chance of missing on your payments.
Lower your expenses
Now that you know how much money you bring in each month, reducing your spending is the next step. With a better knowledge of how much you can work with, creating a limit on your expenses is much easier. Write down all your monthly expenses and deduct that from your income and the difference will be the money you have available for any other living expenses. Your daily budget will likely be smaller than what goes to your monthly bills, and this budget will be much simpler to monitor and manage. It will be easier for you now to avoid exceeding your financial capacity.
Don’t just rely on your credit cards
If you’re building your credit, it’s important to know that you shouldn’t use your credit cards on all of your expenses. Your credit card should only be used on things that you can pay in full, before the cut-off date of your statement. This way you can avoid incurring finance charges that would lower your financial ability. Credit cards should only be used for what you can afford.
Create an emergency fund
If you don’t have one yet, you should start building one right away. Saving money and paying off your debt are the keys to the success of your plan to stay in your financial lane. This emergency fund is a safety net that will help you address any emergency expenses that might arise in the future, be it the bill you didn’t expect, a problem with your business, or a good investment for your future cropping up during an inopportune time. This emergency fund will allow you to avoid the need to take up a loan or use your credit card to pay off unforeseen expenses. Should your fund not be enough, using the money from your financial safety net would still lessen the amount that you would be borrowing.
Staying in your financial lane is a good habit to get into when managing your debt and personal finance. No one is asking you to do something extreme like go a month without spending. To stay in your financial lane and keep from harming both your bank account and your credit score, you simply need to be responsible and curb the temptation to give into lifestyle inflation. When you obtain your financial freedom, you just need to be wary of the pitfalls that can put you back in debt.
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