The economy in the United States isn’t great right now, as we all know. Many people are struggling to make ends meet. Some even feel they are drowning in their debts and cannot afford to make scheduled payments. If you’re looking for ways to get back on your feet and want to learn how to improve your financial situation, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 4 tips for improving your personal finance:
This important first step involves making a list of all your expenses. Gather any receipts or expense reports you may have and figure out how much you are spending per day, week, month, and year. Spreadsheets are great tools for getting organized, but you can also look around for some financial planning software reviews to check out the different kinds of programs that offer step-by-step instructions for better organizing your finances.
2. Pay it off
Even if you have bills racking up and can’t afford to pay them off in full, at least make the minimum payment to each credit card you use. If you fall behind, it negatively impacts your credit score and increases your interest rate. The more interest you accumulate, the harder it will be to get back on track.
Likewise, if you have any debt in the form of a personal, student, or car loan, do your best to pay those off first before spending money on unnecessary personal pleasures. Once those weights are off your back, you’ll have your whole paycheck to spend on whatever your heart desires.
3. Save, save, save
Even if you do have the extra money to spend, try your best to resist temptation. Put those funds aside for emergencies or major life purchases (such as a house or new car). The rule of thumb is to have a full year’s salary set aside in savings. This is in case you lose your job or have an unexpected financial hardship. A good way to help grow your savings is by choosing safe investments like CDs or money market accounts with a trusted local bank insured by the FDIC.
4. Monitor your credit score
Your credit score is the gateway to adult responsibility. It impacts your ability to rent an apartment, lease a car, and even apply for a mortgage. By using a monitoring service like Credit Sesame, you can track your spending and learn tips for improving your score for absolutely free.
If your finances are weighing you down and you feel like you will never dig your way out, don’t prevail. A healthy financial situation is attainable. If you follow these tips and dedicate the time, you’ll eventually land back on your feet (and stay there) in no time.
For more advice on saving money without sacrificing life’s pleasures, check out our related post: 6 Tips For Decorating Your Home On A Budget