When it comes to the largest sources of stress in life, the biggest box that everyone checks are finances. Finances are the number one source of personal stress for people as well as for relationships. Financial problems are the number one reason for divorce and for family arguments according to Forbes. But, you can take control of your finances.
How to Take Control of Your Finances
One of the best ways to avoid these problems is to have your financial house in order and know that you have eliminated a huge problem. Here are 8 hacks to help you take control of your finances.
1. Get on a Budget
A budget does not mean that you cannot enjoy life and have fun, it means you are making informed decisions about your money. You must know how much you are bringing in as well as how much you are going to be able to spend in order to plan. A budget is one of the best ways to take control of your finances.
A few great apps that you can use are Mint.com and You Need a Budget. In addition to that, you need to look at all the money that is coming in and see how you can improve your situation with your expenses. You need to put all your expenses into categories and do some real math.
2. Look at Your High Interest Debt
Another thing that must be considered is the debt that you currently have. You need to look at the bad debt that you have and find ways to pay it off. That debt may be high interest credit card debt or something else.
The key thing that you need to do is to pay it off quickly to make sure that you are able to not be paying into debt. Debt is not an investment; it is a burden, and much be treated as such. The key to success is to be debt-free.
3. Getting Rewarded for Spending
There is tons of information out there on how you can use your daily purchases to do things like travel for free and be a part of reward programs. You will find many other rewards as well if you pay attention to the ways in which the perks can reward you. You can for example get cash back, gift cards, as well as many other perks that will allow you to stay ahead of the curve on benefits.
4. Keep Everything You Can on Autopay
We all know that late payments are bad, and they can really impact your credit score. What that also means is that you want to set up automatic payments for everything that you can so that you are going to never forget.
You can schedule things for payday or just after and ensure you are not going to miss that money. That way you are going to save money on things that you may always forget.
5. Check Out Budgeting Apps to Give You Clarity
One thing that is important to know is where you are spending tons of money and what you can do to cut down on that expense. There are many great apps out there that will help you with this. You should look at Wally as well as Mint which will help you with your debt as well as help you find out where you are making the largest spending mistakes.
6. Pay with Cash
When you are using cash, it is a really great way to ensure you are on a budget. Cash will allow you to have to stop and open your purse or pull out your wallet and be aware of what you are doing. You will think more about your latte if you are going to see the cost coming out of your bag.
7. Always Think About Your Financial Freedom
It is important to make sure that you are thinking about money. You are going to need to think about all the impulsive buys that you do not need, and you are going to want to make sure that you are also living within your means. When you are doing this, you are going to have more freedom to do what you want to do in the future.
8. Always Pay Yourself First
You need to have your own account and you need to also have an account for fun money. Having these will ensure that you are able to have a way to tap extra funds when you need them as well as to know that you are going to have a few feel good purchases but not at the expense of your financial health.
9. Emergency Fund is a Must
Emergencies happen, and it is important to make sure that you are ready for them when they happen. There are many little things that hit you unexpectedly in life and you want to make sure that you have everything you need to be covered such as an emergency fund.
10. How to Set Goals and Stay Motivated
When you are going to set goals and meet them you need to reward yourself financially. What that means is that you want to make sure that you have a plan in place to achieve the freedom you have always wanted. Know what that financial freedom will mean to you and how you can really stay motivated.