If you have a financial situation that does not suit you, you need to change personal habits and patch holes in the budget.
We have written some tips to help you understand the monetary picture, increase your income and learn how to control your finances.
1. Start budgeting
Start from scratch – set up a budget. Find out how much your income is and determine your base monthly spending. Having written out and calculated them, you will see whether the balance is positive or negative. Of course, it is important that the expenses do not exceed the amount you earn. This will prevent you from getting into debt.
It is difficult to cover all the small issues related to money. Start with clear spending: transportation, rent, food and groceries. Gradually analyze the rest of the expenses that you make during the day and add them to your budget. Review it periodically. Knowing where you are is the foundation of money management.
2. Reduce bills
The easiest way to change the budget balance in a positive direction is to pay less for various services. After spending a little time, you can find the best conditions for telephony, television, banking services, Internet fees. You don’t have to fight for a penny or settle for the worst deals. Just check: suddenly there is an opportunity to pay less for the same product or service and switch to a different tariff.
3. Give up credit cards
If you want to stop “being in poverty” every month and start controlling your finances – stop using credit cards. This is one of the most “toxic” types of debt, where high interest rates are charged. Try to close your liabilities to the bank. Ask the organization for the exact amount you must pay. Determine the term and maximum monthly payment that you can pay to cover the debt and that will not hit your base monthly budget.
Make debt repayment a priority. Try to repay it yourself. Do not take another bank loan to pay off your monthly payment. If you have absolutely no money to repay your debt with the bank, you’d better borrow from friends/family or refer to easy $1000.00 payday loans. These are short-term loans that typically do not exceed $1000,00 and repaid within 30 days. They are easy to access – the entire process is online and there is no paperwork involved. You can even get approved if you have a low credit score. But it’s important to repay payday loans on time. Otherwise, you will be a very expensive type of loan.
4. Eat less often in cafes and restaurants
One of the easiest (and, of course, enjoyable) ways to waste money is to go to a restaurant or cafe. Going out to a good place from time to time is okay. Holidays, meetings on weekends are pleasant and convenient to spend in such an atmosphere. But if you dine in establishments every day, it is expensive. Just count.
Challenge yourself – try cooking and eating at home for a week. Take lunches to work with you. You will be pleasantly surprised at how big the savings are.
5. Plan your menu
If the idea of cooking every night scares you, the situation can be simplified by planning the menu a month in advance. This approach allows you to control your finances and save energy for several reasons:
- You spend significantly less time in stores, as you purchase at once for one or several weeks;
- You spend less time cooking because you can prepare food preparations for a couple of days in advance;
- You can buy food in bulk from large hypermarkets, which usually have lower prices.
Menu planning apps will help those who have difficulty with imagination.
6. Read about personal finance
If you want to have money but it is not clear where to start, read books on personal finance. They open up new points of view, structure knowledge, and tell you how to “attract” money. Here are five classic options:
- “The Richest Man in Babylon” – George Samuel Clayson.
- “Rich Dad Poor Dad” – Robert T. Kiyosaki.
- “Think and Grow Rich” – Napoleon Hill.
- “The Path to Financial Freedom” – Bodo Schaefer.
- “Science of Money” – Brian Tracy.
7. Learn about investments
One of the main steps in creating personal wealth is to start investing. If this is intimidating, try to study the issue more closely. Read the literature for beginners, sign up for courses, try a service or application where you can purchase several shares in demo mode.
The sensible investor views buying securities as buying a stake in the business. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the financial results of enterprises over several years. No one wants to acquire a company with an ineffective business model. Give up speculation, play on the rise and fall of the stock price throughout the day. This method is risky and often leads to loss of capital. Invest money in the medium or long term.
8. Set realistic material goals
To effectively control your finances, you need to define a goal. What do you want to achieve, what are you trying to achieve? Unless you have specific reasons to work, it will be difficult to motivate yourself to save money every month. Set a measurable goal. “I want to be rich” is a vague statement, and “Save $50,000 for an apartment in 5 years” is a clear task.
But stay realistic. If you earn $10,000 per year, it will be difficult to buy a yacht. Make sure the goal is achievable and break it down into small steps that will help you track the process and feel successful.
9. Build a financial plan
The financial plan should cover all monetary issues and the time it takes to implement them: buying real estate, retirement, children’s education fees. Any goals become difficult to achieve in the absence of a plan. It is necessary to understand how they are related to each other, in which moments they hinder, and in which they help each other. So, you will know when to switch between tasks and concentrate all your attention on one or two, which are priorities at this point in time.
10. Start saving
Saving is an important part of the financial question. Set aside interest on any income (salaries, bonuses, cash gifts) regularly. It should be 10%, financial experts say. If you find it difficult to save that amount from the budget, try starting with 5% or even 1%. This will help form the habit of saving. Increase the percentage gradually over time.
11. Try a financial fast
An interesting challenge you can try in order to better control your finances is the money hunger strike. Set a specific time frame and define a minimum budget for it. For efficiency, it is best to conduct such an experiment within a week. You’ll have to reconsider grocery shopping, leisure, transportation costs. This practice knocks you out of your comfort zone but it teaches you to think freshly and understand what things are really important.
12. Take care of your pension
You need to monitor your retirement savings from the moment you start working. The standard government deductions are almost guaranteed to be insufficient. So create a personal retirement account and start saving for your old age. They don’t have to be in a commercial pension fund. Bank deposits can be used. So, you will protect money from inflation and earn some money.
13. Find additional sources of income
Sometimes financial problems are associated not with large losses but with weak receipts. Try to make extra income, such as renting out a property or making money online. This will strengthen your financial position and prevent negative circumstances from hitting it hard.
14. Improve your work skills
Improving professional qualities is one of the foundations necessary to keep your job, increase pay for your work, or get a promotion. Stay competitive. Get certificates of additional qualifications, take courses, develop skills that make work more efficient:
- Social skills;
- Analytic skills;
- Positive thinking and resistance to stress;
- Ability to apply knowledge in practice;
- Patience and persistence.
And do not forget that it is important that all this is visible to the employer.
15. Get the most out of your work
Good companies offer employees health insurance, dental care, free sports, meals, transportation, and office services. But not all employees enjoy such benefits. Make sure you are familiar with the entire list of employer bonuses. Some of them will help you save more than $500.