Organizing your finances probably isn’t at the top of your list of ways to spend your free time. But by setting aside just a few minutes a day, you can transform your finances by making trivial changes that can make an immense difference!
Whether you’re new to navigating your finances or not, it can seem overwhelming. The better you set yourself up now, the better off you’ll be later. It’s time to get on the right track toward thinking and planning for the months and years ahead.
We’re going to look at several fairly effortless ways to handle money, save money, fix your finances and earn extra income, to get you on your way to financial success with little to no sacrifice!
For starters, let’s look at eight easy ways to get your finances in order and get ahead.
- Build a budget
A budget is crucial to your money health! If you don’t track your money’s coming and going’s, it can get out of control. It’s essential to be realistic though, you don’t have to deprive yourself, but you do have to be honest and know what you can, and cannot afford to spend.
If you know you can’t or don’t want to quit your take-out coffee habit; keep it in your expense budget; be upfront with yourself.
- Earn extra – save extra
You got a raise or figured out how to make some extra income! After you celebrate, you can think about how you can raise your savings too! The sooner that you work a bit of this extra into your savings, the more your finances will benefit for the long-term!
- Know your credit score
Your credit score can give you a baseline for your finances. If you’ve got some work to do, try to repair it as best you can. If you have a good credit score, that’s great, maintain it and continue making it better. You might be astonished at how easily and quickly you can raise your credit score. By following even a few suggestions found here, you’ll be delighted at how swiftly your credit score will get restored.
- Cash only
Credit cards are convenient and can offer purchase protection and rewards. If you have one that provides cash-back you not only save on transaction fees of other cards but you also earn cash-back with no effort. If you pay off your balance every month there is no interest; therefore, credit cards can be beneficial.
On the other hand, they can be very harmful if you do not pay off your monthly balances. The interest rates are very high and an unnecessary burden.
Credit cards make it easy to spend money. Swipe or tap the card and whatever you have your eye on is yours. Handing over real money helps you be much more conscious of your spending compared to swiping your credit card.
The use of cards can also make it easy to lose track of how much you are spending. Only carrying the amount of money that you’ll need is always a good idea too.
If you have a cash-only policy, there will also be times that you will have to save up for your purchase. Delaying the purchase can give you time to question how much you need or want that item.
If you still want it once you’ve saved up, then you should feel no guilt or regret in having what you want!
- Money buddy
A financial friend can help you with saving and investing. Choose a friend or relative that has smart money habits, and will speak openly about your financial goals and challenges. They should have the same outlook towards money as you so that they can help push you in the right direction.
A money buddy can also help you resist the temptation to buy unnecessary items and can serve as a double-checker on your investment decisions.
The two of you should meet up to discuss your objectives and review your plan as well as your progress.
As you make small changes and discuss your successes, you’ll both benefit from using your money buddy’s ideas for yourselves.
If you can’t find a suitable friend, consider joining a money club. These groups can be found online and were formed by people who have similar financial goals.
- Consider your objective
You’ve probably thought about your life goals, but what about your money goals? Where do you want to be in 5,10 or 20 years? Consider the small and big things that you’ll need to do when you’re writing out your financial goals and plans.
The earlier you start setting aside savings for these priorities the easier and quicker it will become part of your money routine.
Having a visible reminder of your goals can be very helpful. Think about building a vision board. Cut or print out pics of what you want, from your living space to your travel and everything in between. It’s okay to add other goals to your vision board too.
Gathering all objectives in one spot will make it more accessible and keep those priorities front and center. Post it wherever you’ll see it regularly.
It’s super fun and exciting to create your vision board! The daily reminder will help keep you eager and motivated; serving as an exciting and inspiring reminder as you bring your goals to life.
- Attention to costly habits
Things like going out with friends can create an expensive, financial snowball. A day or night out can make it very easy to get off track with your spending. If you have an active social life that’s okay as long as its not a huge financial setback; be sure to work this into your budget.
Tracking your spending doesn’t mean that you can’t spend; it just traces what you’re spending money on; which helps eliminate things you’ve predetermined to be unnecessary expenditures.
- Do your research
The thought of money and finances may stress you out. If you’re not realistic about your debt and expenses, you can run into some damaging situations; you need to be informed.
Take charge of your money and read articles or watch videos on personal finances. Financial knowledge is the best tool for understanding how your money works and making it work for you.
How to save money?
No matter what your position is on this journey, you need to know that anyone can turn their financial life around. It only takes a single step in the correct direction. But, as with most things, the first step is the most difficult.
This article can help you start today. Some of these items can be life-changing over time, and some are small improvements you will notice right away.
Ways to save money
- Take advantage of bank accounts that give you rewards
If you are paying monthly fees for your saving accounts, try researching some new banking options. Many banks even offer sign up bonuses for opening an account or setting up direct deposit.
- Switch TV services
Consider bundling your services or downgrading your cable services. Many streaming services and devices are available at no cost or considerably lower than cable.
- Start selling
If over the years you have collected items that no longer serve you, now is the time to sell.
Several safe online sites allow you to post your articles for sale and earn some money. If you haven’t used something around your house in the last 6-12 months it is highly likely; you will never need it. Your home will be in order, and you can add some extra bucks to your pocket.
Removing unwanted things from your energy space also tells the universe that you’re making room for new wonderful things that you truly want.
Selling unwanted clothing, for example, makes space physically and energetically for new clothes to come to you. In no time you’ll find that a friend wants to give you some of their clothes or you find an amazing deal on clothes you’ve been wanting. It’s a win-win situation.
- Make your gifts
Another way to save money is by creating homemade gifts. You can prepare yummy sweets, candles, fresh baked goods, or whatever you’re crafty at; check out Pinterest for other great ideas.
- Sew that button back on
Do not throw out a shirt because of a broken button, instead sew on a new one. The same applies to your jeans or pants; you can add some trendy patches or hem them into some cute shorts!
- Save money while entertaining your children
A lot of children, especially young ones, can be easily amused. How many times have we bought them gifts only to see them having more fun with the empty box?
Play ball, make homemade slime, go to the park, ride a bike; kids love doing things together more than anything.
Drinking a glass of water before you start eating your meal has been proven to help you feel full longer and ultimately eat less.
Cutting out juice or pop and swapping for water can save you hundreds and also keep you better hydrated and feeling healthier.
- Quit smoking
If you smoke or vape, you already know that the habit is not only expensive but also unhealthy. You will look and feel better and have a lot of extra money in your pocket every week by stopping or even cutting down.
- Switch off the lights
Lights consume a great deal of energy over time. Turning off the lights when you leave the house and the room can cut down on your monthly bills.
- Use the internet or library
Books, magazines, movies, and music can be conveniently downloaded from the comfort of your house. As well, many libraries offer free or low-cost rentals.
- Changing of cars air filter
A clean, well-functioning air filter can improve your gas mileage and save you hundreds over your vehicle’s life span.
- Save money by canceling unused membership
If you are a member at a gym or club that you never use, cancel it. The monthly charges can really add up, and most times they are automatically withdrawn and go unnoticed. If at a later date you decide you want to join again, many of them will waive the renewal fees.
- Generic brands
Instead of picking up the well know name brand items at the grocery store, try using the store brand or generic brands. You’ll save money and like them just as much or more as the expensive ones. You’ll notice a difference in your grocery bill right away!
How to fix your money problems?
If you are in a challenging financial situation, here are five things you could do to help improve your outlook.
- Know your money
The hardest thing to do is be honest with yourself and recognize that you are in a bad financial situation, and you need to fix it. There are a lot of websites and free tutorials that can teach you about money and money management.
- Quote your insurances
It is so convenient to keep paying the car and house insurance bills, especially if they are set up for automatic payment from your bank account. Taking 30 minutes to make some phone calls to look for a lower quote could save you hundreds of dollars.
- Pay down your debt
If you have debt on numerous credit cards, take the time to make a few phone calls to your credit card companies and ask for a lower rate. Ask about transferring all your credit cards to them and getting a better interest rate.
You may also want to consider calling your financial institution and see if they will give you a loan. If the rate is reasonable, you can pay off your credit card debts that have higher interest rates.
- Be a savvy shopper
Choose generic brands that are less expensive and just as good as the more expensive ones. Check out sites that pay you back for shopping, remembering only to purchase items that are a necessity though. Stock up on non-perishables when there’s a bargain available.
- Stay away from the mall and unnecessary online shopping
Spending any recreational time at the mall is a bad idea if your getting your finances back on track and online shopping can be just as dangerous. Instead, go for a walk, read, watch a movie, anything that can help you stick to your plan.
Easy Ways to Make Extra Money
- Rent Out Your Car Or Drive People Around
By listing your car online, you can make extra money by renting your car to people who need to borrow a ride. A lot of sites let you choose your rate, and insurance is covered.
You can also make more by driving for just a few hours with Uber services or similar companies that are popping up.
- Sell Gift Cards
Many websites buy and sell gift cards online. Most are free to join, and the consumer can get a discount on gift cards or sell their gift cards for cash.
- Invest Your Savings
Another way to make money is to move some of your savings over to an account that gives you a higher interest rate. Take a few minutes to do a little research, and you could see the difference and have some extra money over time.
- Part-time job
Many people don’t have a lot of free time to run their errands. Grocery shopping for the elderly, disabled, or over-worked is a great way to make money.
You can also start making some cash by walking dogs or offering a doggy daycare.
- Proofreader, Website Writer, or Start a Blog
Websites are always looking for fresh new content; if you enjoy writing this could be a great option or if you want something tailored to you, start a blog.
Many businesses need help with their social media and keeping relevant. If you enjoy social media management, this could be a fun way to be creative and make extra money.