Talking about money is a taboo conversation these days because too many of us are not quite where we’d like to be financially. It’s time to take control of our finances and decide to change the narrative on the subject of money. Budgeting, including cutting your spending and increasing your savings, is just the beginning. Read on for my tips on how to really secure the bag.
1. Tell Your Money Where to Go
Are you spending your money frivolously, or can you account for each dollar that leaves your pocket? Unless you’re completely disciplined, you’ve probably had moments when you just can’t remember where and how you spent that $100 that’s gone missing from your account. In order to get started with becoming more financially responsible, you have to assign each and every dollar that leaves your possession. This seems like a daunting task, but thankfully there are several apps for that.
Check out this link for some of the top, current budgeting apps that allow you to track your daily spending: https://www.thestreet.com/personal-finance/best-budget-apps-14788828. Additionally, if you bank with a credit union or bank that has their own app, use their services to track your card purchases. You’ll be able to tell in an instant where your money is going.
2. Creating Healthy Spending Habits
To properly establish a budget, It’s important to create spending and saving patterns. Create patterns by breaking your inflow and outflow of money into categories. An example of a great model to follow is the 10-20-70 rule. This means when you get paid, donate 10%, save 20%, and use the remaining 70% for expenses and spending. This model can be adjusted to fit your needs, consider allotting a strict percentage for spending if you know your self control could use some work. However, ensuring that you’re always saving a little from every pay day will eventually add up for the times you need or want it most and it helps stop the cycle of debt.
3. Cut it
If you’re truly committed to budgeting and creating better financial habits, prioritizing your spending is a must. Subscription services like music and television streaming doesn’t seem like much, but that $10.99 could probably be used for something more important. If you can’t see yourself getting rid of your entertainment, think of other purchases that add up daily, weekly, or monthly and make a decision to cut those purchases down or out completely. It’s time to make some decisions and find a balance that helps you achieve your goals.
4. Keep Your Goals in Mind
When you put money aside, do you have a goal in mind for the money that you’re saving? Is it for a rainy day? Vacation? Debt? Maybe all of the above. Upgrade your savings plans but setting goals for each month. If you do have multiple savings categories, allot a percentage or specific amount to each and hold yourself accountable. If you find that your initial projections, or what you thought you’d be able to contribute doesn’t quite work, reassess and try a different formula. Be realistic with your goals and stay positive as your savings grow.
5. Make it Automatic
Once you’ve determined your savings plan, make your budgeting even easier and automate your payments. Automation can be achieved through direct deposit options or though your financial institution. Set up your account by taking a percentage every month or a cut from each paycheck automatically to keep yourself from having to watch your money move every month. You may be pleasantly surprised the next time you login to check your account.