Some people seem to be born with an ability to manage their financial matters effortlessly. Others? It takes a little longer to learn. Although managing money is not everyone’s strong point, there are certain things every person needs to know.
The following are some of the basic steps to managing your money that can make that difference for you.
Make Goals. If we make plans to get somewhere, then we’ll get exactly where we planned. If you want to work towards financial freedom, you will need to set some goals and work towards those. Decide on some long- and short-term ones as this is a great first step. ListPlanIt‘s Goals for this Year can help chart your financial goals.
Keep Track of Every Penny You Spend. Think that daily latte is not a big deal? Two dollars every day can add up to $730 per year. Areas of small spending are often the ones that are sucking your bank account dry. Write down each and every purchase in ListPlanIt‘s Expense Tracker. This will enable you to see where your money is going, and give you the info you need to make changes when necessary.
Pay Off Your Credit Cards. Credit card debt is something many people struggle with. Although there are times when it is beneficial to use a credit card, and it is no doubt beneficial to have a credit history, too many people allow themselves to get swallowed up in debt. Try to think of your credit card as a debit card, and do not purchase anything with it that you don’t have the funds to pay back as soon as it appears on your account. ListPlanIt‘s Debt Worksheet is the first step toward making a plan to eliminate your debt.
Create an Emergency Fund. You never know when a rainy day is going to come your way, and it pays to have an emergency fund. Regularly put aside money towards this savings account. This will allow you to feel more certain that you could get over a small financial crisis if it was ever to come your way. ListPlanIt has fund worksheets for all of your budgeting and expenses, including a Rainy Day Fund.
Save a Little Each Month. A little saved adds up over time. Create a separate savings account that you do not allow yourself to touch unless absolutely necessary. Save this money immediately when you are paid, so that you are not tempted to use it before it makes it to the proper holding place. You will be glad you sacrificed a little to save a lot over time.
Invest in Your Future. Look into retirement savings. No matter how young you are, if you are fortunate you will one day be old. Time creeps up slowly and it is never too early to begin saving for this. Talk with your bank or financial representative and find the savings plan that is right for you and your situation. You will thank yourself in years to come.
Managing money doesn’t have to be complicated. With a little time and effort, you can understand your money and use it to its fullest potential. Take these basic steps and you will realize that managing your money is a lot easier than you thought it would be.
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