For many people, money management can be an overwhelming and uncomfortable topic of conversation. Maybe you feel like you have put off saving for retirement for too long or your emergency savings is not what it should be.
Whatever is causing your anxiety, the truth is there is no better time than the present to get a grip on personal finance. Once you get the ball rolling, you will soon wonder why you waited so long to form healthy financial habits.
To help you get started, we have assembled 19 tips to help you meet your financial goals.
1. Begin Budgeting
The first place to start might seem obvious but there’s a reason for that. Holding yourself accountable to a clear budget reinforces all other money management habits.
Budgeting does not have to be overly complex. Start by optimizing your three largest expenses by looking at their monthly totals. For most people, this is their housing, food, and transportation payments. First, nail down how much you are spending on each category and from there find ways to reduce those costs.
A budget helps you keep track of where your money is going. Any savings you make, you can easily direct to a savings account.
2. Get Yourself Out of Debt
Managing debt is one of the most important ways you can manage your money. Whether its student loans, credit cards, a mortgage, or a car loan, debts are not just stressful, interest eats up your money.
Tackle the debt that carries the highest interest rates first. Often, this is credit card debt. Pay down your debts in order of how expensive they are. You will be amazed at how quickly you can get debts under control with a focused strategy.
3. Consider Passive Income Sources
While this is not always practical for everyone, there are many ways you can generate a passive income or side hustle. Consider monetizing a hobby or passion.
If you have photography skills, there is plenty of weekend work for photographers. If you like animals, evening dog walkers are always in demand. There are a lot of things you can do to make extra money. While these kinds of jobs should not replace your full-time income, they can be a great way to pull in some extra cash.
4. Optimize Your Bank Accounts
When you want to start managing your money, it is well worth taking a look at your daily bank accounts. Plenty of checking accounts charge monthly rates and have transaction limits. If you are exceeding these limits, the cost can be quite substantial.
Do not be afraid to shop around for the best checking and savings accounts. Try to find a no-fee checking account and a savings account that pays a decent interest rate. OR a checking account that pays interest like Premium Checking.
Investments do not have to involve massive sums of money. Come up with an investment strategy and invest what you can afford. Even if you are only able to contribute the equivalent of a couple of dollars per day, it will add up.
6. Set Up An Emergency Fund
Nobody knows when emergencies will arise. You can give yourself a sense of security by contributing to a small fund. Most financial professionals advise clients to have at least three weeks’ worth of expenses put aside.
7. Shop Around For Insurance
Make sure you reevaluate your car insurance. Comparing rates is always a good move. Quotes are easy to come by and you never know if you can secure a better rate if you do not check.
8. Check Your Credit
Your credit score plays a big role in your financial life. Keeping an eye on your credit should not be something you avoid. If you know your score, you can make the right decisions to improve it.
9. Look Into Your Taxes
It might be a boring topic but optimizing your taxes is an opportunity to save big money. Understanding your tax situation could open the opportunity to reduce the amount you are currently paying.
10. Examine Your Phone Bills
Wireless service providers are constantly offering new prices. Do not get tied down on an outdated and expensive plan. See what deals are available and do not hesitate to negotiate a new plan or move to a new provider.
11. Look Into Cash Back Credit Cards
If you use a credit card on a regular basis, it is probably worth seeing what rewards are available. Plenty of credit and debit cards offer cash back or reward points features that can add up.
12. Look Into Rental Apps
Apps, such as Airbnb, allow users to rent out their property on a short-term basis. If you have a spare room or plan on being away for an extended period, you can generate income by renting out your unused space.
13. Stop Impulse Buying
Impulse purchases can destroy your budget. If you see something you want that you did not budget for, consider waiting a day. Only buy the item if you can still justify the purchase after a waiting period.
14. Look Into A Retirement Plan
No matter how old you are, it is never too early to start looking at retirement savings. Take the time to research IRA and investment options to optimize your accounts and make them as efficient as possible.
15. Reduce Transportation Costs
For most people, transportation is one of the most costly expenses. Make sure you are not spending more money than you need to. Are you spending too much at the gas station? Perhaps you need a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
16. Cook At Home
Many people spend more money on food than they need to. Rather than spend a premium to eat at restaurants, you can cook at home. You will save a fortune and home-cooked meals tend to be healthier. You can also save money by packing lunches for work.
17. Stop Thinking Small Purchases Do Not Count
If you make them on a daily basis, small purchases can really add up to large sums. For example, buying a coffee on your way to work is far more expensive than bringing one from home. Track your spending and see for yourself.
18. Plan For Events Well Ahead
Save for expensive events throughout the year. Do not let Christmas, birthdays, and other expensive events surprise you. Put money aside so the cost does not catch you off guard.
19. Stick To What Works
If any of the above tips are helping you save and manage your money, stick to them! Anything that works temporarily is worth committing to. Managing your money is all about building up healthy financial habits, not just finding temporary fixes.
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