Simple Ways to Take Charge of Your Finances
Written by: Christopher Haymon
Are you trying to save more money? Whether you are trying to pay off debt, save up for your dream vacation, or put money away for retirement, you can increase your savings with some simple changes to your spending habits. These helpful tips will aid you to set a budget, stay on track, and meet your financial goals.
Take advantage of financial apps
Start by setting a budget and tracking your spending using popular programs like Mint or YNAB. These resources offer very useful apps that allow you to stay on top of your finances wherever you are. Remember that when you start downloading multiple apps, you need to watch your data usage on your phone. You don’t want to start racking up unnecessary overage charges and bust your budget. Consider signing up for an unlimited data plan. These plans are often cheaper than month-to-month limited plans and you can choose a plan based on your usage.
Use a cash system
If you are having a hard time limiting your spending, start using cash. NerdWallet points out some research indicates people spend less money when using cash only instead of using debit and credit cards. As you physically see your money dwindling, you’ll likely stop spending so quickly. To make this simpler, some people like to utilize an envelope system, allotting a certain amount of cash in envelopes for different spending categories each month. For others, giving themselves a weekly allowance for discretionary spending works best.
Take a good look at your expenses
According to Business Insider, most Americans don’t keep track of their expenses. But if you are trying to save more money, it’s a must. After tracking all your expenditures for a month or two, take a good look at all your expenses, line by line. Take note of areas where you overspent or places where you might be able to cut back.
Also, look at your bank accounts and credit cards for recurring payments and make sure that they are necessary in your life. For example, many people sign up for streaming services, gym memberships, and other subscriptions and then use them very infrequently or not at all. Cancel the things you aren’t using regularly or you no longer need.
Stop eating out
Many working people eat out for lunch every workday. If you really want to cut expenses and meet some of your financial goals, start bringing your lunch from home. Homemade sandwiches and leftovers are far less expensive than most restaurant meals. In fact, Health says you can save $1,500 a year by bringing your lunch instead of eating out. Do you frequent Starbucks regularly? Many people stop for coffee on the way to work for a daily caffeine fix. Instead, bring coffee from home in an insulated travel mug. Even seemingly small things will add up.
It’s easy to overspend when you aren’t keeping track of your money. However, with the help of budgeting apps and a few lifestyle changes, you can start spending less and saving more. With know-how and diligence, you can soon start hitting your savings goals and be on the road to financial prosperity.
Photo via Pixabay
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