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While it’s important to live in the moment and enjoy what is happening around us, you should also plan for tomorrow. There are a lot of things to do today that you can benefit from years from now. So take the time to make a few simple changes that your future self will thank you for.
Here are 10 things to do today to improve your life.
1.) Learn to budget.
Budgeting is one of the least appreciated financial skills in today’s society. Thanks to credit cards, plenty of people are spending more money than they are making. There is nothing wrong with credit cards – but without budgeting, you can easily find yourself under piles of unpaid bills.
Thanks to the invention of the smartphone, learning how to budget your money has never been easier. Sure, you can write down all of your expenditures – OR you can download the Mint app.
It will sync with all of your bank accounts and display it all on one screen. Mint will show all of your spending and separate each transaction into the appropriate category. You can also set limits on certain expenses, like entertainment, to keep you from going over. The app will warn you when you get close to your limit.
These types of apps can definitely make budgeting while living paycheck to paycheck easier. If you can spare time, this is one of the first things to do today for a better tomorrow.
2.) Invest for the future.
It’s never too early to start your investment portfolio. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the investing world. Most people think that they need $10,000 and an investment advisor to start – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The truth is that you can start investing with the cash you have left over in your wallet. Thanks to all of the investment opportunities on the Internet, starting a portfolio is easy, even for beginners. Websites like Lending Club, which is one of the newest alternatives to traditional stock investing, allows you to start with as little as $25.
3.) Get life insurance.
Sure, it’s not the most fun shopping experience, but it’s one of the most important. The majority of people hold-off on buying life insurance until they get older and have children; but this could be a HUGE mistake.
Life insurance provides protection and peace of mind knowing that your family will be taken care of if anything were to happen to you. But there are several problems with waiting to buy it. The first and most obvious one is that you never know what is going to happen to you. You don’t want to leave your family with thousands and thousands of dollars in debt.
The second disadvantage is that waiting to buy life insurance could actually cost you more money. One of the biggest factors that impact your insurance rates is your age. The younger you are, the cheaper your monthly premiums are going to be. Buying a term life insurance policy at a younger age could save you hundreds of dollars every year in insurance premiums.
Definitely one of the best things to do today if you don’t want regrets in your future.
4.) Save for retirement.
You don’t want to work until the day you die do you? We didn’t think so. There is no better time to start saving for your retirement then right now! According to Time Magazine, 1 in 3 Americans have nothing saved for their retirement, and 56 percnet have less than $10,000 saved.
The younger you are, the more advantage you have in planning for your retirement NOW. It might seem ridiculous if you are still in your 20s or 30s, but you should sit down and think about when and how you want to spend your retirement.
The best ways to save for retirement is to take advantage of any matching programs that your work offers. Not using these is like leaving free money on the table. The other best way to save for retirement is to open up a Roth IRA.
There are dozens and dozens of different places that you can open up a Roth IRA, each of them has different advantages and disadvantages that you need to weigh first.
5.) Kick bad habits.
One of the most productive things to do today is to start quitting your bad habits.
The longer than you keep them, the harder they are going to be to quit. Instead of putting it off until tomorrow, make a commitment to beat you bad habits by a certain time frame. Putting a specific time period will give you added motivation. Having an accountability partner can also drastically increase your chances of kicking negative behavior for good.
One of the most common bad habits that people want to quit is smoking. If you’re looking for an added incentive to quit cigarettes, being a smoker is not only terrible for your health, but also your wallet. Smokers will pay double or even triple the amount in life insurance premiums.
6.) Start (and stick to) a diet.
Yes, we know that you’ve started a diet at least a dozen times, but sticking to one can do wonderful things for your health. You don’t have to stick to a strict rice-cake-and-lettuce diet to be healthy. There are tons of little food choices that you can make to improve your health and shed a few pounds.
Little things like choosing grilled chicken instead of fried, eating vegetables and hummus instead of potatoes chips, or skipping the French fries when you go out to eat.
7.) Get into shape.
Eating healthy isn’t the only thing you should be doing now. Starting a regular exercise program is one of the best things to do today for your future self. Exercise doesn’t mean putting hours in the gym or training for a marathon. There are plenty of ways that you can get in shape and have fun.
If you’re new to exercise, look for programs with trained instructors like a Zumba class or a spin class. These are great ways to start a fitness routine and meet new people.
8.) Learn to manage your time.
Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Join the club. Just about everyone says they could use a little more hours in a day. While you might not know it, you could be wasting a lot of time EVERY day.
You could be wasting hours on social media, commuting to and from work, or surfing on the Web during your lunch break. For one week, write down how you spend all the time during your day and then review it. Look for solutions on how you can trim down the wasted time, or use some of the hours that were just dead space in your schedule.
9.) Find a hobby
Life is stressful. There is no way around it. One of the best ways to balance out the pressures of life is to find a hobby that you enjoy doing. It could be anything from playing an instrument to painting. Find something that helps you relax, and then carve out some time to do it.
10.) Buy a camera.
This one might seem like an odd suggestion, but it’s extremely important. Life is crazy and the years fly by. Ten years from now, you’ll look back and wonder where all the time went. One of the best things to do today is to buy a camera and start capturing these memories before they are gone.
Thanks to how advanced cell phones and digital cameras are, you won’t have to shovel out thousands of dollars to get a great camera that you can keep with you.
10 Ways for a Happier You In 10 Years
The earlier you develop good habits, the longer then time you’ll have to perfect them. We promise that you won’t find people who wished they shouldn’t have planned for retirement, or that they shouldn’t have learned how to budget their money.
You don’t have to do all of these at once. Pick one or two and start working on them today. Once you master those, come back and pick a few more. In 10 years, you’ll thank us.