Are you one of the many people who have little to no idea where their money is being spent each month? Then it is high time to start planning your finances better so that you can face later phases of your life with confidence.
Many people have no clear idea how to manage their money yet avoid budgeting as they believe they are in control of their cash. Even people with decent salaries are often living paycheck to paycheck due to poor financial planning.
Is it common for you to run out of money at the end of every month? This is a warning sign that you need to start concentrating on your finances. Planning is the key to success; if you do not manage your funds smartly then it is highly unlikely that you will be able to achieve your financial goals and your wider goals in life.
While title loans and short term personal loans can be invaluable in a time of need, it is often possible to reduce the amount you would want to borrow or eliminate them completely if you are able to save more prudently.
Almost Half of All Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck
About 45% of Americans are forced to live from paycheck to paycheck despite often earning a good monthly income. Were they to be asked to breakdown their monthly expenses, most of these people have no clear idea how their money is being spent. This results in a lot of waste and unwarranted debt accumulation. Poor financial planning can force an individual to incur high living costs when they could be living at the same standard but saving cash.
It is imperative to budget your spending and earnings to ensure that you can maintain your current living standard and also have the strength to meet your financial obligations. Poor planning can land you in an unpleasant situation where you have to struggle to get things done financially and you’re spending more than your fair share on interest repayments or overdraft charges.
Below we share some easy solutions to help you plan your finances and stop living from paycheck to paycheck.
The #1 Way to Financial Freedom
Keeping a track of where your money is going is the most important step towards sound financial planning. If you wish to escape the vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck then you need to understand where your money is coming from and where it is going. Every dollar that you spend needs to be for a valid reason. Understanding the relationship between your disposable income and discretionary spending will help you understand your obligations and financial strength.
Smart financial planning entails that you remain aware of where your money is actually going. You need to be proactive about your finances so that you set yourself up for success rather than failure. Smart financial planning can help you achieve your short-term goals as well as your long-term goals.
How to Begin
The following four steps clearly outline how you should manage your finances.
- Set Objectives – Objectives help you understand your priorities. Set your long and short-term priorities to formulate a framework that will help you save while maintaining your happy lifestyle. Some serious objectives are more important than others, and don’t neglect long-term objectives such as having a comfortable retirement. Make a few investments, save for your retirement plan, and budget your monthly spending so you have a clear picture of your present and future.
- Make a Budget – As mentioned earlier, get a clear understanding of your income and expenses. Calculate all your monthly expenses like house rent, electricity, food, transportation, insurance, cell phone, internet, and credit card bills, and your repayments on debts. Figure out the areas where you can cut back on expenses so that you can set aside some funds for investment or saving.
- Use a System that Works for You – Paying for everything in cash can help some people to keep track of the money that is being spent and it feels more real that credit or debit card use. Others prefer to use a debit card as it offers an automatic way to have all of your purchases recorded. It can also be helpful to operate multiple bank accounts for different financial obligations. Having different accounts can create an effective funds management mechanism that gives you a clear idea about how much money you have left for each part of your budget.
- Track and Be Proactive – Consistency is an important factor when it comes to financial goals. If you set a budget, keep track of your expenses but fail to stick to your budget then all of your planning will be wasted. As an adult, you need to be able to exercise some discipline to remain on track with your budget. Virtual planners can become extremely handy in such situations as they help you remain alert about all your spending and also provide you with a visual representation of your income and expenses.
Long-term goals are extremely important but many people fail to achieve them because they feel too big and unachievable. Therefore, always break your long-term goals into short-term objectives that are easy to track. Yearly goals may be difficult to manage but monthly goals are far easier to cope with, and they add up to big results.
Be proactive about your finances. Don’t wait for things to happen but rather plan for the future and invest accordingly. Being proactive will ultimately help you own more assets, resulting in improved financial strength and an increased ability to generate income.