You need money; it’s the reality of life. If you want to make some, listen up. Here are 5 easy tips on how to ensure a financially stable future. Hi, I’m Javier Carlos. I am an Arizona-native, small business owner, and active investor. I am in a secure place now with my finances, but they weren't always that way. Back in eighth grade, upon establishing C West Entertainment, I never thought it would be a sustainable source of income. Here is how it all began: My Backstory Being an irresponsible kid, I burnt through every penny I earned. I splurged on Denny’s, Adidas Shoes, and Dutch Bro’s Coffee. Alerts constantly bombarded me that my bank was overdrawn, or my balance had fallen below $25. Things changed, one day when my grandma and I went to get a bite. I offered to pay. It was probably $10 at most when she hit me with the, “Are you sure you can afford this”? Chills ran down my back. Frozen in place, I nodded yes and proceeded to pay. That’s when I realized that I needed to take my financing seriously. Five Easy Tips For Saving Identify What You Can Save. This first tip should be anyone’s first step when they think about saving. Think about it: How much can I put away each month? You must think about your current financial situation and think about things like: Are you saving for your first car? What about College? Should I save or are my parents going to help me? Answering these questions can help you decide how. I like to use a tool like this to see where I’m spending most of my money. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/172403491954895772/ Keeping track of my spending clarifies how much money I’m spending. I see things like entertainment, clothes, and car payments. I didn’t realize how much money I was spending eating out until I did this! After identifying what you’re spending a month, it’s best to set goals. Setting Goals. #goals, am I right? Kind of. The first goal is determining the target dollar amount you will spend per month. Once you know your unavoidable expenses (car, insurance, fees), you need to decide exactly what you’re going to allow yourself to spend on other things. This includes eating out, going places, and gas money! Let’s face it, without enough money, you can’t go out with your friends. I’ve learned that the hard way a few times… Start Saving Your Money! This is by far the hardest step. Saving your money. In reality, it’s pretty easy once you get started. What I found is that once I knew what I was saving, then I could pretend that it was already out of my bank account. Let’s say that I have $500 each month from working part-time. My expenses are $200 for my car, $50 for insurance, $50 for entertainment, and $50 for gas ($350 total). So, I know that I can comfortably set aside $200 each month to save. But wait, that’s not realistic! I can’t set aside that much money! You’re right. What most often comes about is that you don’t know how much little things can cost, especially when they come out of no-where. That’s why you need to set goals and expectations for yourself when you calculate your monthly expenses. Speak with a Financial Advisor. You could stop at step #3 and call it a day. But... if you want to maximize your savings, talking to a financial advisor can be your key. Financial advisors are experts at savings, investments, and everything money. They’re there to help you be smart with your cash. In fact, without my financial advisor, I wouldn’t have thought about any of these tips myself! He showed me how I could turn $100 each month into HUGE savings for my retirement. Financial advisors sound scary, I get it. Almost like those scammy YouTube ads that pop up telling you about the next get-rich-scheme. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Most (if not all) advisors get paid when they earn more for you. That means they want YOU to succeed and earn more with your savings. The best way to find a financial adviser is to search your local area for professionals. Experts agree that going with a household name like Edward Jones or Fidelity are great because of their well-established track record. Ultimately, you should go with an advisor you feel most comfortable with and feel can get your best rate of return! Get started with your future. Like, now!