We all have a friend or family member who is always in debt. They cram to make the monthly bills and pay for necessities like food, clothes and a roof over their head says Brian Colombana. But there’s no room left from frivolously spending on entertainment or luxury items.
It seems that you have to have money just to get by. And while that’s partially true, it doesn’t have to be like this for you!
Your financial situation is a result of your choices and habits. You can change the way you handle money in the following areas:
1.) Save money:
Make it a point to save at least 10% of your gross income. Although saving $100 is better than saving nothing, you’ll want to aim for the $1000 mark if possible. Even if you can’t save this much right now, any amount saved will help you out in the future!
2.) Stop spending on nonessential items:
It’s easy to spend money when you don’t need too. But try not to purchase anything that isn’t absolutely necessary (clothing, food, etc). You can break this rule once or twice a month as a reward for being so frugal throughout the rest of the month.
3.) Work to increase income:
If your current financial situation isn’t improving, you need to get creative about earning more money. Start by searching for a new job that pays better than what you’re making now. Then, look into some side hustles that can enhance your existing skills (i.e. dog walking or consulting on the side).
4.) Track Spending:
Keep track of all purchases made with either cash or credit. This means every time you buy something- write it down! Use any spare moment throughout your busy day (waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting on the train, etc to jot down what you bought. Then tally it up at the end of each week or month to find out how much you really spend on non-essentials explains Brian Colombana.
5.) Look for deals when shopping:
Start taking advantage of all the amazing deals available to us these days! Sites like Groupon, Living Social and Amazon Local are all free ways to save money- plus you’ll discover great things near your area that you would have never known about otherwise! Sometimes it seems too good to be true, but many times these deals are actually legitimate, so sign up for as many as you can handle!
6) Limit impulse buying:
When I see something that looks great online or in a store window, I avoid temptation by reminding that I don’t need it and I should save my money. My rule is that unless I’ve saved up at least $50, there’s no reason to bring any new clothes into the house. The same goes for home and beauty products and other nonessentials as well!
8.) Reduce taxes:
If you own a home or car- you’re probably paying too much in property taxes. Try to find ways to share this cost with friends, family members or even neighbors who also use these services (i.e. two adults splitting the yearly amount). If you don’t need to file your state income tax return, then don’t! It takes a lot of time and effort for not much reward, so it doesn’t make sense for most people. There are plenty of other deductions that can help you save money, so review this list and make the necessary changes!
9.) Create an emergency fund:
It’s not easy to build up a cash cushion. If possible try to put aside at least $500 to start with, then slowly grow from there if needed. Treat this account as sacred because it will save you from having to pay for unexpected expenses out of your regular checking or savings accounts.
10) Build an investment portfolio:
Create a spreadsheet with your current net worth and calculate how much extra money you have each month after all bills are paid says Brian Colombana. Once the total has reached a certain amount- consider investing some of those dollars into stocks, real estate, or another sort of profitable venture. With all of this extra cash coming in, you should be able to afford the initial costs and start seeing a return within a reasonable period of time (i.e. six months or less).
Only you have the power to change your financial situation. I know that it can be difficult, but in order to reach a comfortable level of living- it’s important to try and commit to a more frugal lifestyle. By making these 10 changes, you’ll eventually see a huge improvement in your monthly income and overall standard of living. I hope these tips are helpful- good luck!