As the new year begins, we give ourselves new goals and resolutions and I’m sure many of us want to improve our financial situations. Being good with money is difficult but with these five tips and a little hard work, you’ll have a stranglehold on what every penny in your pocket is up to.
1. Keep A Spending Log. Doing this first tip alone will take you most of the way when it comes to managing your money. You can do this in a notebook that you update everyday or use one of several apps avaiable like Expensify or Dollarbird.
2. Use Autopay. Some people are really scared about autopay features for their bills. Many people think that they may accidentally miss a payment or something can go wrong but based off experience, I can confidently say that it’s a very trustworthy and time saving way to pay bills. Many of the top banks let you set up auto pay for all your bills through their online banking so you don’t have to jump from company to company double checking that it’s been done. So hurry up and start using autopay.
3. Use Cash. If you’re not the type of person who loses things easily, holding the cash you’re willing to spend each week in your wallet is a great way to spend your money wisely. For visual people like myself, seeing how much money I have to spend really forces me to buckle down and keep track of my expenses.
4. Use Multiple Bank Accounts. This is something that I am just starting to implement in my own life. The idea behind this is when you get paid at work, you would allot different percentages of your pay check to go into different accounts. Each account has a different purpose. For example, I would allot 20 percent into a savings account, 50 percent for rent, utilities, and recurring bills in a second account, and a third account for entertainment and food. With a system like this, you will be able to avoid spending your phone bill money on drinks at the bar.
5. Be Consistent. Consistency will make your life easier. If you spent $200 dollars each month for the last six months, it’s pretty safe to save $200 dollars towards food and feel comfortable that its enough. Spending can vary drastically month to month based on time of the year, birthdays, holidays, etc. but as long as your come up with a game plan ahead of time, even these special situations can be prepared for consistently each and every year.
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