Money makes the world go round, so if you don’t have any, life isn’t much fun. Unfortunately, it is very easy to live beyond our means and fall into debt. In the short-term, it won’t matter, especially if you have a well-paid job, but if you allow this type of reckless spending to continue, it will have dire consequences for your financial stability.
Reining in your spending and pulling your personal finances back into order is critical. With a bit of hard work, it shouldn’t take more than 48 hours to put your finances in order. Here are some tips to help you get things back under control.
A Full and Frank Evaluation
Pull out bank statements, credit card statements, and ask for up-to-date balances on any loans you have. Once you have this information to hand, sit down and make a list of your debts, monthly income and outgoings, and any future financial commitments you have, for example, a planned vacation.
Once everything is there in front of you, it should become apparent how healthy your finances are. If the answer is “not very”, now is the time to rationalize your spending and see where you can make savings.
Loans and credit card debt is a good place to start. You may be able to move debt to a cheaper deal to save money. For example, moving the outstanding balance on one card to a new card with an interest-free period will save you interest. In most cases, you can apply for new loans and credit cards online and receive a lending decision almost immediately.
Look at Where You Can Make Monthly Savings
Once you have secured a cheaper vehicle for your debt, look at other areas where you can save money. Do you pay for services you don’t use, such as a gym membership? If so, cancel these right now. Look at how much you spend on travel, groceries, and miscellaneous items. There are sure to be areas where you can save money. One good example is switching from a morning take-out cappuccino to a flask of coffee brewed at home; this will save you money each month.
Plan for the Future
It is just as important to plan for the future. Retirement may seem like a long way off, but it will come around sooner than you think. Saving for retirement should begin now, not in a decade. If you don’t already have a pension fund, speak to a pension’s advisor.
Saving for a Rainy Day
A savings account is essential. It protects you from unexpected bills and pays for the extras in life. With the right investment plans, you can maximize your disposable income and build a healthy nest egg, but this area is complicated so speak to a StratFl financial advisor for further advice.
Money can be scary, but don’t stick your head in the sand. Once you are in control of your personal finances, you are one step ahead of the game and well on the way to financial stability.