You want to improve your financial picture. You plan to pay off debt, cut your expenses, save and invest more, and generally manage your money better.
To improve your financial picture, think about your financial troubles and how your life could be different if your financial problems disappeared. Several years of poor financial decision-making will not go away in one day, but with a willingness to stay on the right track and stick to a good plan, your finances and life will turn around for the better.
The following are some financial tips and tricks as a starting point for significantly improving your financial situation. Start by implementing four or seven of them, and watch your finances improve in ways you have never imagined possible.
What is it you want to achieve financially? Do you want to pay off debt? How much debt do you want to pay off and when? Your goals should be specific and time-bound. For example, set a one-year goal to pay off $10 thousand in student loans.
Your financial goals can be broken down into daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual, annual, or even longer time-frame milestones. Define your short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Depending on the level of discipline and the difficulty of what you plan to achieve, you may need to break some larger goals into smaller short-term goals. This will allow you to follow your progress and stay on track.
Apply the S.M.A.R.T. acronym to your financial goals. They should be:
You need a budget to tell you where your money comes from, and where it goes. Creating a financial goal is great, but it’s hard to accomplish your goals if you do not have money left at the end of each month. Take a close look at your income and expenses. Use this to determine if you have enough money left at the end of the month. If you do not, it is time to cut your expenses and find ways to increase your income. Free apps you can use for budgeting include Mint and KOHO. A paid alternative is YNAB.
To get yourself back on steady financial footing, you need to put an end to high-interest debt. Plan to pay off your obligations quickly. Every day that passes on your outstanding balance means an increase in your debts. Start by making an extra payment every month. If you only make the minimum payments, your debts will stick around forever. If your credit profile is a victim of poor financial decisions in your past, a secured credit card can help you rebuild your credit. Try to avoid Payday loans because you could be paying upwards of 600 per cent in interest rate per year.
You can cut expenses, increase income, or do both. One option to increase your income is to earn more at your current day job. You may be able to accomplish this by offering more at your job and negotiating a pay raise, or you may have to look for a better-paying job elsewhere.
Another option is to find ways of supplementing your salary with extra sources of income. There are many ways to earn extra income in your spare time, including:
You can reduce your monthly expenses and bills in many ways, including:
Make a conscious decision to save money this year, even though most savings goals never really see the light of day. One strategy is to automate your savings. Automated savings mean a specific amount of money leaves your chequing and is deposited into your savings account on a specified basis. Your finances will greatly improve if you get into the habit of “paying yourself first.” An age-old strategy is to place at least 10 per cent of your income should go into a savings or investment account.
Monitor your credit score (you can do this for free). Credit monitoring helps you to detect fraud, identity theft, and errors that can significantly damage your credit profile. An excellent credit rating will save you money because you will qualify for credit at competitive interest rates.
The sooner you start to invest, the better. Unless you are carrying debt that needs to be paid off now, you should try to put money into an investment account regularly. Simplify your investing. Not everyone is comfortable with managing their own investment portfolio and rebalancing it as required.
Now, it is easier than ever before to find out how to do things yourself. You can visit several websites for free tutorials, and start to improve your financial picture. Some easy DIY tasks include:
Increase your knowledge and improve your skills by always reading and learning. Investing in yourself is one of the most important investments you will ever make.
Through education, you may be able to broaden your general understanding and thinking ability, increase your capacity to provide solutions to real-life problems, increase your income-earning ability, and feel fulfilled and satisfied with your life.
In the area of finances, there are many personal finance books you can read to increase your understanding of investing, debt management, budgeting, and more.
Here are some money-saving benefits to decluttering your home that will help improve your financial picture:
To improve your financial picture, do not spend money you don’t have, to buy things you don’t need, just to impress your neighbours or friends. Many people put themselves in debt because they are not willing to make the sacrifices. Impress yourself by setting financial goals, creating a budget, and accomplishing your goals.
Money has a powerful influence on our lives and our bank accounts affect whether we can pursue higher education, become home owners, and retire. Our financial health depends on how we manage the money we make, and not how much we make. It’s important to improve your financial picture.
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