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Staying on Top of Your Finances

Hand putting coins into a ceramic container; financial planning
Staying on top of your finances

If you find your money is disappearing every month, leaving you in a financial mess, you’ll have to start managing your cash differently. Just a few budgeting practices and some pre-planning can help you stay on top of your finances.

Pre-planning

It’s very important to think about your future plans when you’re trying to get a grip on your finances. Buying a house, going back to college, purchasing a new car or saving for retirement are a few things you must think about. Calculate the amount of money you will require to meet these goals and find out how much you can put aside each month to work towards those plans.

Budgeting

Budgeting can’t be stressed enough. You’ll be able to determine how much money you’ll have in hand after paying utilities, mortgages, grocery bills, medical bills and related household expenses. You will also be able to keep track of the money you’ve spent on leisurely pursuits like going to the movies, eating out, shopping and more. Budgeting doesn’t have to involve fancy math. You could simply download and use an app to monitor your spending and saving habits.

But remember, there’s no point investing in an app if you’re not going to use it. Some apps give you the opportunity to link your bank account to their software so they can pull and categorise data from your account to help you budget. Not all apps are accurate enough, though. If you were to spend $50 on medical products and another $40 on food, it could feature as $90 spent on groceries. Moreover, your financial information is exposed to third party vendors; something you must consider before using expense trackers on your device.

Look for an app that’s simple and straightforward to use. Don’t forget to include expenses paid by cash and refer to your receipts for better accuracy.

Take a Look at Your Subscriptions

Take a look at your subscriptions and memberships to find out if you really need them. Subscriptions linked to your bank will auto debit your account and remain active until you decide to let go of them. Also, make sure you take a look at your bank statements and find out where your money is going each month.

Pay off Loans

Learn to aggressively pay off loans that are robbing you of peaceful sleep at night. The best way is to start paying off loans that carry the highest interest rate. Instead of feeling guilty and fearful about your debt, think of it as a stepping-stone to success. Try to set yourself free from debt and have a growth mindset so you can get a step closer to becoming more prosperous in life.

Save

A dollar not spent is truly a dollar saved; it doesn’t matter how big or small the amount is. Put as much money aside as you can each month. This will help you feel more confident about paying bills on time. Moreover, you will have something to fall back on in case emergencies arise. To increase your savings, shop around for savings accounts and term deposits. Use an online comparison tool to find out which bank gives you the best interest rate for the money you plan to set aside. Lastly, when you go shopping, compare the prices of items on sale with those of non-sale items. You might be surprised to find out that items on sale are sometimes more expensive than regularly priced ones. So be a savvy shopper and adopt these money-saving ideas.

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