Now more than ever, it’s so important to understand the basics of personal finance.

In this blog post, I will share with you the top 9 personal finance tips to get ahead financially and master your money.

Tip 1: Build a Budget

One of the most important personal finance tips for beginners, and virtually anyone is to start a budget and stick to it.

Think of a budget like a road map, you can’t get from Point A to Point B without a guidance tool, your road map.

Your budget does exactly that, your budget guides you from your current financial situation to where you want to be in the future. And as Dave Ramsey said: budget is telling your money where to go instead of asking where it went.

You just need to determine how much you’re spending currently and determine your future financial goals, then, build a budget to help you get there.

Tip 2: Become a Savvy Saver

One of the most common finance tips for beginners is to start saving.How do you save money? After you create a budget, only buy what you need and cut out unnecessary expenses.

Tip 3: Build an Emergency Fund

A very important piece to your personal finance strategy is building an emergency fund.

An emergency fund is a liquid (you can deposit and withdraw money at any time) account that has cash equal to 3 to 6 months’ worth of your living expenses. 

Tip 4: Live Frugally, But Don’t be Cheap

Managing money on a tight budget is more of an art than a science.

If you want to retire early, find financial freedom or get out of the 9 to 5 rat race, then one of the first things you’ll want to do is to start saving frugally.

Frugal living doesn’t necessarily mean living cheaply.

Frugal living simply means being more mindful of how you spend money. To live frugally, you reduce your expenses to meet your basic living needs and focus while dedicating the money you have saved toward your financial goals.

Tip 5: Pay off High-Interest Debt

This is one of the most important financial tips you’ll ever hear: Pay your high interest debt ASAP.

High-interest debt (like credit card debt) is bad debt.

Bad debt is anything that has a high-interest rate (typically an interest rate that’s 10% or higher). Bad debt often buys liabilities (aka assets that depreciate like cars, clothing, etc.).

If you do find yourself building bad debt, your priority should be paying off that bad debt as fast as possible.

Tip 6: Invest in Low-Cost Index Funds

This is one of the most important financial tips for beginners: Invest in the stock market using low cost index funds.

Keep in mind that Index Funds are not designed to outperform the market. But, they are low cost, they are low stress, and over the long-term they have always done well.

One of the most effective index fund investing strategies is known as the dollar cost averaging (DCA strategy).

The dollar cost averaging strategy (aka DCA) is when you invest a set amount of money (like $100) into a predetermined stock, mutual fund, index fund, etc. for a set interval for a set amount of time.

Dollar cost averaging works because it takes human emotion out of the situation. We are human, we are driven by emotion, which can often be quite detrimental to our investment strategy.

Tip 7: Invest in Yourself

Investing in yourself is likely the most crucial personal finance tip and yet, it can also be one of the most fun financial tips.

What I mean by investing in yourself is that there are many tools around, and often free, that can still help you get ahead in this world like Books, YouTube, Podcasts and Online courses

The cost of the course, book, etc. will likely pay for itself in the future.

Tip 8: Set Specific Financial Goals

This is one of the most important financial tips you’ll hear: Be as specific as possible when it comes to setting money goals.

The clearer you are with your goals, the more likely you’ll accomplish them, the more likely you’ll create a game plan and the more likely you’ll know exactly how to win. 

Tip 9: Avoid Lifestyle Creep

As you increase your earning potential, make sure you don’t increase your lifestyle expenses, otherwise known as Lifestyle Creep.

Don’t do it.

When I first started working, I earned $2000 per month, that’s $24,000 per year. That’s barely anything (and trust me, I spent every single cent).

Even as my corporate career progressed to earn well over the six-figure marker, I still lived as if I earned $2,000 per month.

And you know what?

My bank accounts today are thanking me massively.

If you want to get ahead financially, and still avoid lifestyle creep, then start following and sticking to a strict budget.

These 9 financial tips are designed to help you improve managing money and advance your overall personal finance strategy.

Do you want to know the best part?

You don’t need an MBA or PhD or other fancy college degree to successfully implement these personal finance tips, anyone can do it, as long as you’re patient, consistent and dedicated.