Stress about money is on the rise for most Americans. With the onset of the pandemic, we’ve seen just how easy it is for jobs to be wiped out in an instant. For that reason, it’s time to work smarter (not harder). Here are 8 financial tips to help you get your bank account back in shape.
8 Best Financial Tips:
Always Have An Emergency Fund
You should always, always, always have an emergency fund. You can’t plan on your car breaking down or knocking your teeth out accidentally. What you can plan for is having $500 saved up at all times.
One of the easiest ways to put yourself in a financial hole is to have your savings wiped out due to a freak occurrence—plan for the unforeseen future.
Budgeting out an emergency fund will only help you keep track of and manage your finances better. Check out the Printables page for a free budget planner to help you allocate money towards an emergency fund.
Check Your Credit Score
You used to get dinged for checking your credit score, but there are plenty of apps that monitor it for you without doing so. For instance, Mint is a great budgeting app, and it keeps track of your credit score without hurting it.
If you’ve found your credit is lower than you anticipated, check out these tips for building a good credit score.
Make A List Of Debts
The first step to paying off debt is to know exactly what you owe. Make a list of all your debts, so you know exactly how much needs to go where. By sorting your debts out, you can turn it into manageable chunks.
It’s really intimidating to look at one lump sum and think, “how am I supposed to pay this off?” Sort your debts out and look at the smallest amounts first.
This may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll want to tackle the small debts. By paying those off and getting them out of the way, you will see yourself making progress. This is a good sign!
Contribute to a 401k
One of the best financial tips you can follow is to start contributing to a 401k. We are living in a world where it’s uncertain if we will receive social security payments.
Take matters into your own hands and start saving for retirement. If your employer offers a 401k plan, especially with matching, take advantage of it! You’re essentially getting a raise through 401k matching,
If you don’t have a 401k through an employer, consider opening a traditional or Roth IRA account. The earlier you start setting yourself up for retirement, the better.
Commit To A Savings Amount
When commiting to an amount to save, it’s easier to think short term. Instead of making a goal to save $10,000, make a goal where you save $100 a month.
By creating a digestible amount, you won’t become frustrated when you don’t see instant results. Because, of course it’s ridiculous to try and save $10,000 immediately especially when you have bills and rent to pay for!
Start A Budget
Another one of the best financial tips would be to start a budget. Get your finances organized and under control. You should know exactly how much you’re spending and how much you have to spend.
Check out the Printables page for free budget planners to help you get started.
Start investing today! It is one of the smartest financial tips you can follow. Let your capital grow with market inflation. If you have a large chunk of cash sitting in savings, it’s just stagnant.
The best thing to do is throw that money into an investment account and let inflation do the rest for you. It’s a truly passive way to build income.
Learn Self Control
This is by far one of the hardest financial tips to follow. Isn’t that new vitamix blender worth $500 just to die for? What about those limited edition Chanel espadrilles?
Get a grip! Don’t let your own mind talk you into making poor decisions with your money. Start learning the art of self control. One of the simplest ways you can start is by packing a lunch for work.
Bringing your lunch to work is a form of self-control. By cutting out that $10 burrito at lunch, you’re saving money and making smarter eating decisions at the same time!
Cut Back On Spending
When you create a budget, you can easily see where your money is being unnecessarily spent. Notice how those cups of coffee in the morning add up to hundreds of dollars a year? Yeah, we’re talking about that kind of spending.
Relook over things such as your grocery budget. If you stick to buying fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, and meat, your bill won’t actually be that high. When you spend money on pre-packaged foods and meals from the frozen section, your bill is going to be way pricier!
Find A Side Hustle
A lot of people are looking for side hustles to supplement their income. We live in a day and age where wages are just NOT keeping up with inflation. This is another one of those financial tips where you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands.
There are plenty of side hustles you can start. Think of something like flipping thrift items, making your own crafts, or even starting a blog.
Invest In Yourself
Are you an avid hiker, but trudge along in those Nike’s that have zero support? Maybe you should invest in a really nice pair of hiking boots. Think about the return on investment when you spend money on yourself.
Sure, $200 is a lot to spend on a pair of boots. However, if these boots go on a hike just once a week for one year, you’ve invested about $3.85 a hike to have a pleasant experience.
Certainly, one of the most important pieces of this process is investing in yourself. Allocate a portion of your budget to be for things you enjoy. Life is already stressful, so take the time for yourself.