Figuring out how to gain control of your finances fast can be difficult when you’re trying to juggle multiple responsibilities, including work and family life.
However, if you use these seven tips, you’ll be well on your way to taking control of your finances in no time at all!
1) Get organized
Start by sorting your bills and expenses by due date. Then, list all your assets and liabilities on a sheet of paper, too.
It will be helpful to see how much money is coming in each month versus how much money is going out.
Look for ways you can save some cash, like cancelling a membership you no longer use or cutting back on eating out.
It’s also a good idea to set up an automatic bill pay system so you don’t have to remember when things are due.
Finally, make sure you’re paying off credit card balances quickly.
If there is any interest being charged on the balance, it could eat away at your savings account fast.
The best thing to do would be to transfer the balance from a high-interest card to one with 0% APR until it is paid off completely.
2) Know where your money is going
When you know where your money is going, it’s easier to budget and make sure your finances are on track.
One way to stay in the loop with your finances is by having a weekly meeting with yourself.
At this meeting, list all the things you spent money on that week and how much money you have left for other expenses.
If necessary, set up a budget for the following week based off what you already spent and what’s left in your account.
The key here is setting limits and sticking to them.
You’ll be surprised at how much more control you have over your finance if you don’t spend any money outside of your pre-determined spending plan.
Here are some more ideas for getting started:
✓) Keep receipts – Be accountable for every penny you spend by keeping a receipt of everything you purchase.
✓) Consider an online savings account – An online savings account allows you to have access to your money whenever needed while also earning interest on the balance.
It’s important to remember though, once an online bank pays interest they typically charge fees as well.
3) Automate your finances
Automating your finances can help you feel more in control, and save time. For example, you could automate your savings by setting up monthly transfers from checking to savings.
If you have a car payment or student loan payment, set it up so the money is withdrawn automatically each month.
Another tip is to create a budget that has three columns, What I Spend, What I Have Left, and Where My Money Goes.
The budget will show what income goes where so it’s easier to see how much money you have left over after paying all the necessary expenses.
It’s also helpful because once you know what’s going on with your spending habits, you can make adjustments.
For example, if you notice that most of your money goes towards dining out, consider cutting back on restaurant meals or saving the extra money for something else.
And when it comes to credit cards, get rid of them.
They are just another form of debt and there are many other ways to pay for things without getting into debt, like using cash or a debit card.
Lastly, talk about your finances with friends and family members who you trust.
Sharing financial information can be helpful when coming up with new ideas to cut back on spending or earn more money.
4) Invest in yourself
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and have no idea where to start, investing in yourself is a great way to move forward.
Sign up for a class or workshop on money management, enroll in a budgeting software program like Mint, or find a financial advisor.
The more you know about your finances, the more control you will have over them.
I am able to invest my time and energy into things that matter most while still taking care of my responsibilities.
We all want peace of mind when it comes to our finances, but it can be tough when we don’t know where to start. One thing I did was create a budget.
While budgets are intimidating at first, they help me stay accountable to myself and my goals.
There’s nothing worse than spending too much one month and then not being able to afford something you really wanted because you’re saving for retirement or paying off debt
5) Live below your means
It’s often easier said than done, but living below your means can quickly help you gain control of your finances.
By spending less than you earn, your savings will grow over time and you’ll have more money available for emergencies.
As a result, you’re likely to be able to better handle the unexpected things that come up in life.
There are plenty of benefits for people who live below their means:
They build an emergency fund more quickly, they develop a healthier relationship with money by spending responsibly and they find it easier to meet financial goals such as paying off debt or saving for retirement.
An easy way to start living below your means is to take inventory of what you spend on each month, then look at ways to reduce those expenses.
If needed, create a budget that helps guide your future spending decisions.
A good rule of thumb is to keep monthly expenses – including housing costs, groceries, transportation and utilities – at no more than 50% of monthly income before taxes.
6) Seek professional help
Getting help from a professional can make all the difference in your financial situation.
There are many things you can do on your own, but if you’re looking for someone who can provide objective advice, be there when you need them, and act as a sounding board for your ideas and frustrations, it’s well worth the investment.
There are many resources out there that offer free consultations so don’t hesitate to take advantage of these services.
Contacting an experienced attorney or accountant can also give you peace of mind by putting your worries into their hands.
Remember that everyone goes through periods where they struggle financially; just because you’re going through one now doesn’t mean it will always be this way!