With so many moving parts, finances can often seem complicated. By breaking it down into small, simple concepts, it can become easier to take control of your finances. Here are some simple tips to help you with your money management:
CREATE A FINANCIAL CALENDAR
Use a calendar to keep track of everything related to your finances. This includes payment due dates, credit card payments, paydays, and more. It may also be a good idea to schedule time each year to sit down and take a look at items such as your will.
MAKE SMALL GOALS
Start off taking control of your finances by coming up with a series of small, short-term money goals. For example, your first goal could be to have at least $1,000 in your savings account. The quicker you are able to achieve a goal, the more encouraged you will be to keep going. Once you get into a routine of accomplishing these goals, you can start coming up with more sustainable, long-term goals.
If you find yourself constantly trying to figure out where your paycheck is going, it’s probably time to start tracking your spending. Even though it may not seem like a big deal to spend $5 here and $10 there, it doesn’t take long for those small, spontaneous purchases to start adding up over time. For a full month, record everything that you buy, no matter how insignificant it may be (ex. the pack of gum you buy at the gas station). Then, at the end of the month, sit down and look at your list. You may be surprised at how many purchases you are able to cut out just by planning ahead (ex. buying a multi-pack of gum at a warehouse store).
When spending money, do so with purpose. Make lists when you go to the store and keep to it. Only go to stores that you need to. That extra ‘just for fun’ stop could lead to your budget getting derailed. Being more conscious of how you are spending your money can help you make better decisions in the long run.