Money. It’s a topic that no one wants to talk about, which makes it difficult to share smart investment ideas, savings tips and more amongst friends and family. On the other hand, managing your finances can be a daunting task, especially if you’re unsure where to start. The reality is that there are plenty of easy finance tips you can implement right now that can help you take control of your money and start saving for the things that matter to you most. Luckily, we don’t mind having this uncomfortable conversation about money with you if it leads you to a more secure future ahead.
Here are some of the most effective finance tips that all too many people don’t know:
- Make a budget: One of the most important things you can do to take control of your finances is to make a budget. A budget is a plan for how you’ll spend your money each month. To make a budget, start by listing all of your income, including your salary, any side hustles, and any other sources of income. Then, list all of your expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, and food (a good way to tally up expenses is to look at your bank account and credit card statements line-by-line). Subtract your expenses from your income to see how much you have left over each month. This will give you a clear picture of where your money is going and where you can make adjustments to save more. We recommend repeating this exercise for each month over the past 3-6 months. From here, you can create a plan where you cut down on expenses that are frivolous or unnecessary.
- Automate your savings: Another easy tip to upgrade your financial health is to automate your savings. By setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account, you’ll be able to save money without even thinking about it. This can help you build an emergency fund, save for a down payment on a house or for your retirement. You can also set-up automatic transfers to different saving accounts for specific goals. This way you are saving for multiple things at once. A quick pro-tip: Consider automatically sending some of your money to a different bank than your primary bank account, and only look at the balance of this account when you have to.
- Use cashback credit cards: Using cashback credit cards can be a great way to save money on everyday purchases. Many credit cards offer cashback or rewards points for every dollar you spend. Nowadays, credit card rewards, cash back programs and points are much more valuable than before…just ask your friend that booked a business class ticket back from Thailand! Just make sure to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges. Credit card debt is a black hole that’s difficult to recover from.
- Negotiate bills: Many people don’t realize that you can negotiate bills, such as your cable, phone, or internet bill. If you’ve been a customer for a while and you’re thinking about switching to a different provider, call your current provider and let them know. They may offer you a better deal to keep you as a customer. I just recently saved $30 a month on my internet bill by following these exact steps — that’s $360 of savings a year on just one bill!
- Take advantage of employer benefits: Many employers offer benefits that can help you save money, such as 401(k) plans or flexible spending accounts. Make sure you understand all of the benefits that your employer offers and take advantage of them when you can.
- Use online tools: There are many online tools available that can help you manage your finances and keep track of your spending. Websites and apps like Mint or PocketSmith can help you see where your money is going, create a budget, and set financial goals for you.
- Don’t overlook small expenses: Many people overlook small expenses, such as a morning coffee or snacks from vending machines, but these small expenses can add up quickly. Try to keep track of your small expenses and find ways to reduce them.
- Keep it simple: Last but not least, keep it simple. The more complex your finances are, the more difficult it will be to manage them. By keeping things simple and focusing on the basics, you’ll be able to take control of your finances and start saving for the things that matter to you. As they say, simplicity is the key to a happy life!
Managing your finances doesn’t have to be difficult, although we can understand how stressful it can be to have conversations with crypto-bros. By following these easy finance tips, you’ll be able to take control of your money, set financial goals and start saving for your future. Remember that the key to successful financial management is to start small, be consistent, and keep things simple. Happy saving!