As a working adult in today’s economy, you will realize that managing personal finances is essential for survival. The cost of living is at an all-time high, there is more to spend on and less ways to make it. If you are not careful, you may end up living from pay check to pay check or worse, in debt! Saving is an essential part of managing personal finances that most people often fail at leading to financial strain in case of emergencies. The following are some of the ways you can improve your personal finances and save more:
Where are you financially
Start by knowing your financial status today. Financial status consists of a couple of factors:
- How much you owe
- How much you spend
- How much you earn
- How much you have in savings
You may need about a month to capture all the above information. Make sure you get all the credit card payments, bills, purchases and loans in order to determine where you are financially. Once you have a clear picture of your money, you can start making the decisions that will improve your financial status.
Determine your financial goals
It is quite difficult to have a plan if you do not have an end result in mind. You need to determine your monetary goals and develop a plan to meet these goals. Do you want to buy a new house? A new car? Start a business? You need to save up for short term or long term goals. Therefore, list down your needs in terms of urgency in order to avoid financially stressing yourself, buying expensive things that you do not presently need. Add up the costs of everything you need and this becomes your target savings for both long term and short-term needs. This is capital expenditures projection.
Once you already know what you need, you should go back to your recorded spending and cut back on all unnecessary things. Unnecessary expenditures include things like magazine subscriptions that you never even read and cable TV that you never watch. Every dollar you cut back on is a dollar towards your goals. Websites like leasequit.com help you terminate your car lease early hence saving you money.
Once you are through cutting back, create a new monthly budget with only necessary expenditures and savings.
Jump start your savings
By now you are itching to start saving. Relax; you have already covered about 50% of the savings. Saving involves a lot of discipline and you might need to start avoiding hanging out with those friends that you often spend a lot of money with just to get your savings going. Here are some tips to jumpstart saving:
- Open a saving account and set up an automatic savings transfer on a monthly basis.
- You can also use direct deposit to move money from your salary straight to your savings.
- Use your workplace’s 401(k) plan. 401(k) is a profit sharing plan offered by employers for employees.
- Join a retirement benefits scheme.