When you stop using your credit cards you have 2 choices, cash or debit card. Both are good but debit cards can still lead to debt and overspending. Using that little plastic card just does not make the money spent feel really real does it? Whereas cash is a whole different ball game. Tell me you don’t find it that bit harder to hand over your cash, seeing it disappear into the till? Switch to using the cash envelope system for all your flexible spending (e.g. groceries, entertainment, activities etc.) Using cash will help you pay your credit cards off more quickly and you are less likely to pay for things you don’t need just because it is convenient to do so.
When it comes to the biggest obstacles in getting ahead financially, credit card debt is right up there. Cards are just so much easier to use than cash and it gets so easy that you can forget that it’s real money that we’re dealing with. In a way, it detaches us from the actual value of our money. Because it doesn’t feel like real money, you spend more and then find you cannot pay the bill in full when it arrives. Credit card debt is often the most expensive debt you have so make it a priority to pay them all off as fast as possible. And don’t use them unless you can pay your bill off in full every month, please. Related post: What To Do When Credit Card Debt Becomes A Problem
Paying bills can be a time consuming and boring exercise. If you are someone who has used checks to pay your bills before, you know how big of a headache it can be to sit down, review all the bills, and then write checks for each one of them. Boring! However, there are things you can do to make the bill payment process easier and it starts with automated payments. It involves setting up the payments of certain amounts to be deducted at a certain date from your account by the bank to pay all your bills. Automated payments don’t just save you a ton of time and effort but they also improve your credit score by being consistent with your bill payments.
One of the key budgeting methods that finance experts recommend is pay yourself first. What this essentially means is that when you get your paycheck, you should pay your own savings accounts first and then pay the bills and other mandatory expenses. Rather than focusing on your immediate mandatory expenses, you prioritize your future self by setting money aside for savings first thing. Remember, your future self is not going to want to either exist on social security alone, nor work until they are 75+. Pay yourself first – you’ll thank yourself later!
Budgeting by itself can be a little boring. For this reason, it is hard to stay consistent with your budgeting rules and plans. But fear not! There are several fun ways you can motivate yourself to stick to your budget. One of the more fun financial tips and tricks is to turn your money saving into a challenge to help you stick to it better. Keep in mind, though, that the challenges don’t have to be astronomical. They can be simple, like:
If you keep finding random other things to do instead of cleaning, realize that you’re just procrastinating! Unfortunately, avoiding chores doesn’t make them go away. And having undone tasks hanging over your head is a crappy feeling. So what’s the solution? Start small. Just commit to doing one thing. Empty and reload the dishwasher. Or put away one basket of clean clothes. Once you get to tidying, you’ll probably find a couple other things you can do quickly. Even if there’s only 10 minutes before you have another commitment, squeeze in a small task or two. If you do that several times a day, your house will start staying clean. That sure beats spending 3 hours every Saturday tidying up!
Having a financial goal in mind will drastically change the way you think about money. Putting a plan behind your money makes it incredibly easy to do well in the financial aspect of your life. Knowing the exact goal of why your money is going where makes a world of difference when you are struggling not to buy that gorgeous trinket you’ve just spotted. You will be more motivated to hit that goal fast and then move on to the next one. Setting up financial goals could look like:
One of the most important money management tips that you should incorporate in your life is to have an emergency fund. Emergencies are unpredictable so it is better to prepare for them before things get out of control and it is too late. The best way is to draw up a budget and set a monthly savings goal. Set aside the saved money and continue adding to it regularly. As time goes by, this will become second nature and you will save more and more. Related post:
This is one of the most popular financial advice tips and tricks that exists and for good reason. Overspending is one of the biggest causes of debt and further instability in your life. Living within or below your means is the key to saving your hard-earned money and putting it to good use in the future. But spending less than you earn does not mean that you should stop living your life. You can start small by cutting your expenses in areas like:
App notifications, calls, emails, etc.. All these things are distractions that keep stoping you from finishing the task at hand, which results in your tasks piling up, which in turn causes you to lose motivation because your list never seems to get any smaller and you always have a lot to do and not enough time. (That’s me!) So when you sit down to work on something, make sure to turn all these things off, so they don’t distract you away from the big goal you are working on. Try the Pomodoro Technique of working in 25-minute blocks at a time, without being interrupted or distracted by anything, giving the task at hand your undivided attention.