The other day, someone asked me what some personal finance necessities that I can’t do without in my life are. Today we’re going to talk about those things and why you may need to have them in your life as well if you don’t already.
I’ve compiled a list of 8 things below. How many of them do you need as well?
I have been obsessed with my budget since 2007. I update it at least once a year. My wife and my income have changed often, and our living situation has as well. We’ve lived in 6 places since getting married, and we’ve worked a variety of jobs.
I don’t know what I would do without my budget. This is an absolute personal finance necessity.
A budget helps everyone organize their finances, and that’s why I highly recommend everyone fill out even a basic budget if not a fully detailed one.
2. Financial Calculator (nerd alert!)
Okay, so I’m a math nerd. I have an HP 10bII+ financial calculator that I am always messing around with. You can find a free online version of a financial calculator here. It lets me calculate the value of money over time.
If I want to invest in something and I have an expected return, I can see how much money I would have in the future. Similarly, if I want to know how much of a return it will take to get from a certain amount of money to another amount of money given I have a specific amount of time, I can figure that out easily.
There’s a lot more I can do with the calculator, and for whatever reason, I have to have it on my desk at all times.
3. Automated Billpay
I think a lot of us get caught up in the number of bills we have to pay on a regular basis. I don’t know what I would do without autopay!
The trick for me is to know how much my monthly bills will be each month and ensure that my checking account can cover them. Since I have my checking account linked to all of my other accounts (savings, investing, etc.), I can move money around if I need to.
Autopay has saved me from paying late fees and from getting nasty phone calls plenty of times. Consider this personal finance necessity of setting up autopay if your situation allows you to.
4. Automated Investing
After paying my bills automatically, what do I do next? I automatically invest money into my Roth IRA. This is like me paying myself for the future.
My wife and I auto-invest 10% of our income each month and then add more as possible.
Automating investing is a great way to move money to a retirement account and into stocks or funds without having to think about it each paycheck. Steady investing in index funds is an excellent way to get rich slowly, and getting rich slowly is the best way to get rich.
5. Coffee (Right!?)
I drink a fair share of coffee. I’m not into fancy coffee, but straight up coffee with milk and sugar is a daily necessity. The best time to have a cup of coffee besides waking up in the morning is between 2 and 3 PM. You know what I mean, right? The mid-day slump.
What does coffee have to do with personal finance? Hmm… definitely when I stare at numbers or am reading blogs on the topic. That energy is what I need to keep me focused.
6. Bill Organizer
Did I mention autopay earlier? For bills that don’t come with an autopay option, I have a bill organizer to track everything. I’m terrible at paying bills that come through the mail. I’m very electronic-focused, and bills have gotten lost in the past.
Fortunately, with an organizer, I can keep track of companies that won’t send me paperless statements.
7. Reading Blogs
This is more of an activity. I read personal finance blogs almost daily. My Google search is set to 100 results per page, and I oftentimes Google a popular personal finance topic and pick a few results from the top, a few from the middle, and a few from the bottom.
It’s so interesting to see how Google ranks people based on their take on the topic and the general layout of the site. As a personal finance blogger, I’m always trying to determine how to rank higher on Google, and I base a lot of that on what the top sites are doing versus what the middle and bottom sites are doing.
8. Personal Finance Subreddit
I’m a long-time lurker of the personal finance subreddit. I’ve gotten article ideas from the subreddit as an indirect way to answer those questions but to address you guys reading the blog.
The subreddit is a great resource to ask questions and to read what other people want to know about personal finance.
Wrapping It Up
Those are my top 8 must-haves in the realm of personal finance. Do any of those resonate with you? Even if you’re not a personal finance fanatic like me, do you have any of the above in your life to help you with everyday activities? Let me know in the comments!