When it comes to improving our financial health, the answer isn’t always in trying to make more but rather in improving how we make use of the money we have today. If we’re not careful, a lot of our income can disappear without us noticing it. Below, we’ll share some tips on how to keep more of your cash in your bank account and how to make better use of it.
Getting organised means finding out how much you actually have, to begin with. The best way to do that is to sit down and create a monthly budget.
● Find out how much on average you get a month, including earned income, benefits, pensions, and more.
● Take a close look at your bank balance and any bills you can find. Use this to find out how much you spend on groceries, utility bills, subscriptions, and more.
● Separate those costs into their main categories, prioritising between essential expenditures, luxuries, gifts to friends, and so on.
The budget is only the beginning. It’s the raw data we use to lay plans and accomplish our goals. Here are a few ways to make use of that budget to make your money go further.
● Find the leftover cash after your expenses come out and start making plans for it. Could that spare money go into an emergency fund, savings for a car or a home, or even investing?
● Always find the money you need for debt management, finding more money to repay your credit agreements and loans more quickly. This will help you to stay in control of your credit.
● Start spotting poor spending habits, such as those extra luxuries you don’t need. Note, we’re not suggesting you completely eliminate any unnecessary expenditures. Every deserves a treat now and then.
● Spotting subscriptions and services you’re paying for but don’t use anymore, giving you the chance to free up more cash.
A budget makes you a lot more aware of where our money goes. We spend better when we’re aware of how those expenditures fit into our finances at large.
The idea that we shouldn’t use our credit or get into debt isn’t the best advice. Smart credit use can give us access to resources we need, helping us make investments or manage unexpected debt. But when we take on any debt, we must always have a management strategy for it. This includes keeping a running total of all our debts to all our debtors and how interest factors into its growth.
From there, our reduction strategy is about weighing how much we pay into different debts each month. Some people like to tackle the smallest debts first, eliminating one worry and giving themselves some momentum to keep going. Beyond that, however, it’s smartest to pay off those with the largest interest first. In the long-term, they are those that cost the most if they’re not erased sooner.
Most important of all tips is that you start organising your finances today. The longer you procrastinate, the more of your money is going to fall through the cracks.