Ways to Review Your Personal Income
In order to ensure your finances are going in the right direction, you need to take a look at how they’re doing on an annual basis.
Reviewing your personal income can tell you plenty of information about your budget, so you can make adjustments as necessary to maximize your earnings and decrease your expenses.
The following ways to review your personal income can help you decide whether it’s time to make some changes in the way you spend and save money.
1) Know where your money is coming from
Know where your money is coming from by taking a look at your finances. You need to track what you are spending and what you are making in order to get a clear understanding of the numbers.
If you don’t know where your money is going, it will be tough for you to make any changes.
if you’re having trouble with debt or want to save up some extra cash, having this knowledge can help.
The easiest way to keep track of your personal income is with an app called Mint which will let you input all of your accounts (banking information) and categorize them based on their type (retirement account, checking account, credit card).
They’ll also give recommendations on how much money should be going into each category based on age and annual salary.
2) Know where your money is going
If you’re working on saving more money, the first thing you need to do is figure out where your hard-earned cash is going.
Chances are, there are plenty of ways that you can save a little bit here and there without really affecting your lifestyle.
You just have to know what to look for. For example, if you drive to work every day, you might be spending $10-$20 each week on gas.Carpooling or taking public transportation could help offset some of these costs.
Buying lunch at work can also lead to spending more than necessary; pack a healthy lunch instead!
If you buy clothes too often, commit yourself to purchasing only one item per month or two months until the end of this year.
At the beginning of next year, re-evaluate how many pieces you actually need. Check your monthly bills to see where you can make adjustments.
Do you pay for streaming services when all your favourite shows come on free with an antenna?
Or maybe you go over your cell phone data limit every month because it’s easy to use Facebook or Instagram at work all day long?
Unsubscribe from any newsletters that come in constantly and don’t serve much purpose.
3) Look at your bank statements
Look at your bank statements. Are they reflecting what you’re expecting? Is there a lot of cash flow coming in that’s not accounted for?
Are there any red flags you can’t explain? Remember, the goal is not just to review how much money you’re making, but also where it’s coming from and going.
The more information you have, the better off you’ll be. If you notice anything suspicious or concerning, make sure to report it as soon as possible.
You may want to talk with an accountant or lawyer if necessary.
Do you pay taxes on all income? Do you know how to save for retirement? How do you avoid paying taxes twice on investment income (once when the investment is made, then again when you take the money out)?
It’s important to keep track of this information so that your finances are healthy and stable.
4) Create a budget
On the first day of the month, take a look at your spending from the previous month. Make sure that you’ve accounted for all expenses, including items such as groceries, gas and entertainment.
After you’ve calculated your total expenses, take a look at your total income for the month and compare it to your monthly expenses.
If there is money left over in your account after your monthly expenditures, you may have more money than necessary available to spend on other things.
If this is the case, consider saving this money or investing it in order to earn more interest later on.
If there is not enough money left over after accounting for your regular expenses, then start looking into ways of increasing your income so that you can spend less money each month on necessities like food and housing.
5) Track your spending
If you’re not sure where all your money is going, start by tracking your spending. Make a list of everything you buy over the course of a month and tally up how much you spend.
This will help you identify patterns in your spending and can be used as the first step towards creating a budget or changing your habits.
Check for any subscriptions that you no longer use: When was the last time you logged into Spotify?
Cut back on recurring subscriptions like Netflix, too.
6) Stop buying bottled water:
Bottled water is more expensive than regular tap water and contributes to the litter problem around our world.
Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle and fill it at home when needed. Cancel unused gym memberships: If your membership has expired, cancel it!
7) Adjust your budget accordingly
Once you’ve reviewed your budget, it’s time to adjust it accordingly.
If your income went up and you’re making more than you need, then take some of that money and put it away for savings or pay off debt.
If your income went down and you’re making less than you need, then make adjustments so that all of your bills can be paid each month with the current amount of income.
If a bill is going unpaid, get rid of one monthly expense (something that isn’t necessary) in order to keep everything afloat.
Finally, if your income stays the same from month-to-month but expenses go up (due to things like car repairs), then find ways to cut back on spending elsewhere until those repairs are completed.
As an example, maybe switch to an iced coffee instead of a cold brew in order to save $2-$3 per week.
It might not seem like much at first glance, but if you switch every week throughout the year and add it up. You do the math!
Plus, there will always be new opportunities coming our way so we may want to spend that money wisely today.