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Build wealth in more ways than one.

If you have financial goals you want to reach, you’re already on the path to building wealth! It doesn’t matter if you’re young, married with kids, or five months from retiring — building wealth is something everyone can do, no matter where you’re starting from. When you focus on building wealth now, you’ll see the payoff later. Here are a few ways to build wealth.

Learn, learn, and learn some more.

The first step to building wealth is simply learning what it means and how to do it. You’re already on the right track because you’re reading this! Familiarize yourself with terms like income, expenses, net worth, passive income, and financial independence. Research the best financial books, podcasts, TED Talks, and dive headfirst into learning everything you can.

Create a 50/30/20 budget.

Everyone says “create a budget” but what does that actually mean? The easiest way to break it down is the 50/30/20 rule. This means that:

  • 50% of income goes to essential expenses (rent, mortgage, food, healthcare, car payment)
  • 30% to non-essentials like shopping, vacation, entertainment
  • 20% to savings and investments

A budget helps you plan exactly where your money should go so you don’t overspend. If you’re spending too much on food (an expense!), consider making more home-cooked meals. Or if you’re not contributing enough to your savings and investments, re-evaluate so it’s 20% of your take-home pay.

Reduce debt.

Most experts agree that if you want to build wealth, you have to reduce debt. How you pay off your debt is something experts tend to disagree on. Most recommend paying off your high-interest rate debt first. So if you have a credit card with a 24% interest rate and a student loan with a 5% interest rate, you’d want to pay off the credit card first. Just remember to make minimum monthly payments!

Automate your savings.

One of the best ways you can save more money is to automate money from your paycheck, so it goes straight into the bank! This way, you won’t notice the money “missing” and you won’t even be tempted to spend it. Out of sight, out of mind!

At Farmers & Merchants Bank, we have savings accounts to match your every need! Explore your options and start contributing today.

Build an emergency fund.

Along with your savings, you should always have an emergency fund. These funds are the perfect solution for those unexpected problems: job loss, sickness, car repairs, and home repairs. An emergency fund should be between three and six months of your monthly expenses. By having an emergency fund set aside, you’re less likely to go into debt trying to pay for these, and you can maintain and build your wealth. Make sure your emergency fund is easily accessible so you can get money out within a day or two and you have a few hundred in cash stored in a safe place.

Keep your credit healthy.

In the United States, you almost always need credit to get better interest rates on loans, lower insurance premiums, and phone plans. You also need credit to rent an apartment and buy a car or a house. The bottom line is you need healthy credit for some of these natural life purchases.

The best ways to keep your credit healthy are paying your bills on time, using only about 20% of your available credit on your credit cards, and avoiding applying for credit cards all the time or all at once.

Invest.

The best and most tried and true way to build wealth is to invest. Time is on your side when it comes to investing, thanks to compound interest so the earlier you get started, the more money you can have later on. At Farmers & Merchants Bank, we offer Traditional and Roth IRA accounts. Stop by and chat about what’s best for you so you can start building wealth!

Build equity in your home.

One of the best ways to boost your net worth is to buy a home and watch your equity grow. When you take out a mortgage, you typically put down a down payment so you can enjoy the benefits of homeownership, as long as you make monthly payments and keep up with property taxes and homeowners insurance. Every payment helps reduce the mortgage principal and boost equity and price appreciation also adds to the value of your home.

Explore FMB home equity loans and lines of credit or stop by and talk with us about your options today.

Consult a financial advisor.

If you’re not sure where to start, don’t have the time to focus on this, or just want an expert’s opinion, consult with a financial advisor! These are people who understand financial trends and can help in your unique situation. Financial advisors can be a huge help, but make sure to do your research beforehand! A simple Google search can tell you a lot.

Be aware of these red flags when it comes to financial advisors:

  1. If they talk about short-term returns
  2. If they push products and services on you
  3. If they say they “can beat the market”
  4. If they brag or talk about how many clients they have
  5. If they have bankruptcy or complaints on their record

Building wealth won’t happen overnight, but if you put in the work and time now, you’ll be well on your way to achieving every one of your goals!