How to improve your finances and reach savings goals
The beginning of another year is a great time to re-evaluate finances and budgets.
10:05 20 March 2014
Time is one resource that we seem to have less and less of each year. Balancing finances, friends, family, education, work and hobbies seems impossible. There are so many aspects to finances alone, and a simple oversight can result in disastrous consequences.
If you are worried about your finances spiralling out of control, try following some of these tips.
- Realistic budget—many times we include just the basics in our budget, or we try to estimate. These are both great places to begin formulating a budget, but the process cannot end there. In order to develop a decent plan, you will need to get an accurate idea of expenses. Although it can be a pain, try to write down all your expenses for a month. You can use a notebook, or software like an app. If you like graphics you might want a program that will break you are spending into categories so you can see exactly how much of your income is spent on housing, food, entertainment, etc.
- Savings—once you have a realistic budget, you may have a better understanding of why your finances are tight. The good news is that you should also be able to identify some areas of spending which can be reduced to free up some extra money. Do not forget to include savings in your new budget. Everyone needs to have at least an emergency fund since it can make the difference between financial disaster and stability.
- Maintenance—setting up a budget and savings plan is two of the most important steps to managing your finances wisely, but there are also tools available to help you keep up with your budget and also maintain improved credit ratings. Take advantage of tools like direct payments that make sure your bills are paid on time even if you forget.