10 Ways to Improve Your Finances
I would venture to guess that most people would like to improve their financial situation, regardless of where you are at now. There are many things that you can do, regardless of where you are at right now, that will help you be in a better financial position this year.
- Read a book on finances or frugal living. Try to borrow the book from the library if you can. Knowledge is power and the more you read about these topics the more in control of your situation you will be. They aren’t as boring as you might think.
- Make a budget. A budget does not have to be a bad thing. A budget is a guide for the way you want to spend your money. YOU are setting your budget. Set it the way you want to, but then try your hardest to stick to it. It should be a work in progress. At the end of a pay period, evaluate to see where you need to make changes and adjust accordingly. A budget is a tool to help you, not make your life miserable.
- Go to the grocery store with cash, whatever your budget is, take only that amount. This will make you more aware of what you are buying and help you save money.
- Save $1 a day. Get a coffee can or a box and put $1 each day into it for the year. At the end of the year you will have accomplished a few things. You will have proven to yourself that you CAN save money. You will have $365 to use however you want. It might allow you to pay cash for Christmas, meaning you can avoid debt. It might pay a month’s high heating bill in the middle of winter. Think of this as a mini emergency fund. It is always a good idea to have cash on hand in case of an emergency and this will accomplish that too.
- Pick an area in your life that you want to cut back in and take the steps to do it. If you want to start taking a lunch from home instead of eating out, then start doing it. If you want to reduce your electric bill then find a way to do that. It could be hanging your laundry, changing your bulbs to fluorescent, putting your appliances on a power strip, or anything you want to do. Just pick an area and make some changes to move in the direction you want to go. You don’t have to start everything at once. Go slowly with your changes and you are more likely to keep doing them.
- Cut something wasteful out of your life. It could be anything, we all have our weaknesses. Many of us have dozens of areas where we waste time, resources or money each week. Stop wasting time and money and you will improve your life.
- Start paying attention to the little things. Small leaks sink big ships. Paying attention to all the little ways you spend money each day will help you save money. Being aware of the outgo is the first step to improving your finances.
- Take 15 minutes to call someone. For instance it could be the cable company to drop extras from your monthly bill. It could be a credit card company to try to get a lower interest rate. You might call different trash companies and find a lower monthly fee. Call someone and try to reduce your monthly expenses.
- Evaluate your wants versus your needs. Do you want the magazine subscription or do you need it? Do you want a new pair of shoes or do you need them? Before you spend money take a moment to decide whether it is something you truly need or just something that you want.
- Start a stockpile of food and toiletry items. When something you buy frequently is on a great sale, buy extra. Then you won’t have to pay full price next week. Do this for 6-12 weeks with as many products as you can and pretty soon you won’t be paying full price for anything.
Take these steps and you will be well on your way to improving your financial position.