Even though we know we should pay more attention to our finances, actually doing so is something we often avoid. Reviewing ourselves and our lives in relation to all those numbers is a little overwhelming. As long as we’re not in some obvious and tremendous financial difficulty, we tend to leave things be. We take on an “everything will take care of itself” attitude.
But finances don’t take care of themselves, and letting things get out of control in this fashion can set you on a course for big financial problems in the future. It’s essential to know how you’re doing financially,; this will help you be prepared for whatever the future throws at you.
What do you want to do with your money?
Figure out what you want to do with your money. Don’t underestimate the power of sitting down and handwriting a list in order to do this! Arrange things into needs and wishes. Getting a broken refrigerator fixed is a need. Paying off a debt on time is a need. A new television is a wish, even if you’re not all that keen on your current one – even if your current one is busted, in fact!
Arrange things into short-term and long-term goals. Looking to buy a house? That can be a long-term wish. And don’t forget investments into your retirement fund! Estimate how much each item will cost you. Congratulations: you have an expenditure projection! You can work out the relative importance of each item, along with the costs. This lets you make smarter decisions with your money.
Find out where you are financially
Now that you know what you want to do with your money in the long-term, you should review your debts and finances accordingly. Work out how much your lifestyle is costing you. Add up the expenses you incur every month – include your rent, insurance and debt repayments – and consider getting yourself a mobile app for tracking your spending. Calculate your average monthly expenditure as a percentage against your monthly income.
If you’re having any problems, then you need to sort them out as soon as possible. Financial problems can build up and become an unstoppable waterfall if you don’t take action to remedy your situation.If it makes borrowing a small sum from a company like Snappy Payday Loans to cover this month’s bills, so be it. Consider getting yourself a credit report (you’re entitled to a free one every year) so you can better identify any problems that may come back to haunt you later.
Create a budget and start saving
Even if you don’t think you need one, you should create a budget. This is one of the best ways of getting your money to work for you. You need to be strategic about your approach to money, here, and budgeting is an excellent way to do just this. Everyone should be saving money; without a budget, saving money becomes more difficult than it needs to be.
Consider opening another bank account, which you should be able to do without charge. When you get your paycheck, put your necessary monthly expenditure in one account. Put at least 20% of what remains into your new savings account!