Are your finances in order right now or do you worry about making it between paychecks, dealing with overdraft fees or late charges, and overall getting into more debt? If you want to stop the worry and start keeping better track of your finances, check out these tips for ways to manage your money like an expert in the upcoming year.
Create a Budget and Stick with It
A budget is essential for anyone who is trying to get out of debt or get their finances back on track. The budget doesn’t need to be complex, it doesn’t need to be difficult to follow, and it doesn’t even need to be tracked down to the last penny. It’s just important to have some idea of how much money is being spent where and what is happening to the money each month. With at least a basic budget, it’s easier to make sure everything is paid in full and on time.
Avoid New Recurring Payments
A new credit card, loan, service, or other recurring monthly bill is usually not a good idea if you’re already in debt. A debt consolidation loan may help as this can be used to repay other debts and reduce interest costs, but it’s not a good idea to take out a larger car loan, open a new credit card, or get a new service that’s going to be billed monthly. This just stretches the budget further and makes it more difficult for you to keep on top of everything.
Start Building an Emergency Fund
Do you have at least six months of expenses in a savings account in case anything happens? Recent studies show that most people do not have more than $1,000 in their savings account and would not be able to cover unexpected expenses or prolonged time of being out of work. If you do not have a savings account, start putting aside some money every month. Just a small amount can quickly add up and be available if you need it.
Put Money into Investments
Savings accounts give you the chance to have money available in an emergency, but the money there won’t grow very quickly. Along with saving, put some money into investments each month. A 401k, as well as other related investment options, are a great way to not only save a little extra but to make sure the money grows and is available far into the future.
Always Look for the Best Deals
Do you find it difficult to put money aside every month? Make sure you’re paying the lowest prices for the items you need every day. Check out cheaper alternatives, discounts, sales, and more to get a better deal and to afford everything you need. Money saved through this step can be put into the savings account or an investment. By taking the time to look for sales and special deals, you can save quite a bit of money on your regular purchases each month.
If you’re worried about your finances, start following these tips today. This can help you keep track of everything better, manage your finances right now, so all expenses are handled, and start saving for the future so you’re prepared in case anything happens. Get started today to work on managing your money better through the next year.