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Don’t Let Your Wealth Slip Away: Tips for Making Your Money Work for You

Don’t Let Your Wealth Slip Away: Tips for Making Your Money Work for You

September 06, 2023

Money holds great potential in helping us realize our financial dreams and leading the life we truly desire. Yet simply earning money won’t be enough; we must be proactive so our money actively works in our favor. 

At GHL&C Financial Services, we are dedicated to providing trusted advice and exceptional personal service to our clients. We are passionate about what we do and always strive to put our clients’ needs first. With that in mind, we've compiled the top 10 tips to empower you in making your money work for you—not the other way around. Read on to understand the full potential of your finances to grow your wealth.

Set Financial Goals

The first step is to set clear financial goals; after all, you can’t make your money work for you if you don’t know where you want to go! Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, and realistic. Common financial goals include saving for a down payment on a house, paying off debt, building up an emergency fund, and achieving your ideal retirement lifestyle. Once you have a clear goal in mind, you can create a plan to get there and manage your money in ways that will work toward your ultimate goal.

Create (and Stick to) a Budget

Next, you’ll want to create and stick to a budget. If identifying your goals and outlining a plan is the map, the budget is the actual route you take to get to your end goal. Budgeting often has a negative stigma associated with it. There’s a persistent belief that only people who are barely getting by need to budget, but this is so far from the truth. Those who consistently budget often make better decisions with their money and achieve their financial goals faster. 

To create a budget, you must understand your income and expenses and allocate your money in ways that align with your financial goals. The first step is identifying areas where you may be overspending, allowing you to redirect those funds toward savings or investments.

Avoid or Pay Off High-Interest Debt

Put simply, revolving high-interest debt is the archenemy of making your money work for you. It is the villain in your fairy tale story, and it should be avoided as much as possible. If you have high-interest debt, such as credit card debt, paying it off should be your top priority. If left to accumulate, it can be incredibly challenging to make progress toward your financial goals. Consider consolidating your debt or using the snowball or avalanche method to pay it off systematically.

Automate Your Finances

Automating your finances can be a powerful tool for making your money work for you. Setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings or retirement accounts allows you to consistently save and invest without even having to think about it. You can also automate bills to ensure you never miss a payment and avoid late fees. Automating your finances not only saves you time and effort but also helps you stay on track toward your financial goals. Just be sure to monitor your accounts regularly to keep everything running smoothly.

Utilize a Rewards Card & Pay it Off Each Month

This tip can be a great way to make your money work for you, but it should be used with caution and not as a way to live beyond your means. Many credit cards offer cash back, points, or miles for every dollar you spend, which can add up to significant rewards over time. Using these cards for everyday expenses you have to pay regardless can be a powerful way to make your money stretch further. 

It’s crucial to use this strategy responsibly and pay off the balance in full each month to avoid interest charges and debt. By paying off your balance each month, you can enjoy the benefits of a rewards credit card without incurring any additional costs. Compare different cards and their rewards programs to find one that fits your spending habits and financial goals.

Open a High-Yield Savings Account

One of the easiest ways to make your money work for you is by putting it into a high-yield savings account. These accounts offer competitive interest rates and allow you to earn more on your liquid cash assets (like an emergency fund) without subjecting them to the volatility of the stock market. Start by comparing different banks and their interest rates, fees, and other features to find a high-yield savings account that suits your needs. While the interest earned on a savings account may not be as high as other investment options, it provides a low-risk way to earn passive income on your savings.

Take Advantage of Employer Matching Contributions

If your employer offers a retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), don’t neglect to take advantage of any matching contributions. Employer matching contributions are essentially free money that can significantly boost your retirement savings. For example, your employer may offer a 50% match on the first 6% you contribute. If you earn $75,000 and contribute the full 6%, your employer will contribute an additional $2,250 to your retirement account. That’s an extra $2,250 toward your retirement that you didn’t have to earn or invest on your own! Be sure to contribute enough to your retirement account to maximize any employer-matching contributions, as it can make a big difference in the long run.

Invest in Low-Cost Index Funds

Investing in low-cost index funds can be an effective way to grow your wealth. Index funds are a type of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) that track a specific market index, such as the S&P 500. By investing in an index fund, you can gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of stocks or other assets with low fees and expenses compared to actively managed funds. 

Over time, index funds have historically outperformed most actively managed funds due to their low fees and ability to match the performance of the overall market. As with all investing, it’s critical to do your research and choose index funds with low expense ratios and fees, and consider diversifying your portfolio across different asset classes and market sectors to mitigate risk.

Invest in Real Estate

Investing in real estate is another way to make your money work for you. Real estate investing can take many forms, such as buying and renting out a property, flipping houses, or investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs). Real estate can provide a passive way to grow your wealth through rental income or appreciation in value over time. It can also provide diversification to your portfolio by adding an asset class that is not highly correlated with the stock market. 

However, real estate investing can be complex and requires careful research and analysis. You must understand the local real estate market, the costs and risks involved, and have a solid investment strategy before taking on real estate, so this tip won’t work for everyone. Consider working with a financial advisor or real estate professional to help you make informed decisions.

Invest in Yourself

Lastly, consider investing in yourself as a way to make your money work for you. Whether it’s learning a new skill, taking a course, or pursuing further education, investing in yourself can improve your earning potential and help you achieve your financial goals. By continuously developing your skills and knowledge, you can become more valuable to employers or clients, increase your income, and build a stronger financial foundation for yourself. 

Additionally, investing in your health and well-being through exercise or nutrition can lead to long-term savings on healthcare costs and improve your overall quality of life. Be sure to prioritize investing in yourself as part of your overall financial plan.

Today Is the Day to Start

Harnessing the power of your money might seem challenging at first, but adopting the right approach and mindset can simplify the process into bite-sized, achievable steps. It’s important to keep in mind that building wealth is a gradual journey that requires dedication and consistency. With patience and discipline, you can lay the foundation for a stable financial future for both you and your family. Take action now, by emailing me at or give me a call at 916-967-3208 to see if I am the right fit to help you pursue your ideal financial future. 

About Jim

James Callens is a financial advisor at GLH&C Financial Services, a full-service, comprehensive wealth management firm. Jim has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry and uses his extensive resources and knowledge to help his clients experience simplicity and clarity in their financial lives. Jim spent more than 20 years working for GE Financial Advisors, both in its insurance services department and as a regional manager and financial advisor. He took part in GE’s Six Sigma Quality Training program and completed the National Association of Life Underwriter’s four-year LUTCF course. Jim also earned his certificate in financial planning from the University of California at Davis. In 2011, Jim combined his own firm, Callens Financial Group, with GLH Financial Services, creating GLH&C Financial Services, so he could provide even more value to his clients. 

Jim lives in Folsom, California, with his wife, Melissa, and his four children, Jacob, Kristen, Grant, and Andrew. Together, they enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking, bicycling, and vacationing at Lake Tahoe. To learn more about Jim, connect with him on LinkedIn.

The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisors LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.