Effective Ways To Take Control Of Your Finances
Finances are undoubtedly the least organized part of many Americans' lives. As per a survey conducted by OnePoll and financial services firm Lili, the average American spends about 104 hours yearly sorting out their finances. Poorly organized finances will leave you much more than just short on cash, so it is prudent to immediately take charge of your financial life. Luckily, it's not that difficult to whip your finances into shape with better organization for improved money management. Here are some of the best ways to take control of your financial life.
Create and stick to a budget
One of the most popular steps towards more organized finances is knowing how much money you earn and spend on monthly expenses. Therefore, drawing up a budget is essential to proper money management, as boring as it sounds. Thankfully, many great personal finance apps can help you get started and take the stress out of the entire endeavor. Besides helping you budget, these apps can also track your spending so you can understand how you spend money. Additionally, these personal finance apps can highlight particular spending categories where you can cut back to save some money, giving you better control over your finances.
Automate bill payments
Utility bills, memberships, subscriptions, and loan payments are some common recurring monthly expenses everyone has. It is nearly impossible to track the due dates for all these expenses in your head, so consider streamlining the bill-paying process by automating payments. Automation takes the stress out of paying all your bills. You can set up automated transfers through your online banking platform, ensuring that you'll never miss a payment because you forgot the due date. Additionally, you will avoid all the late fees accompanying missed payments, keeping you in better financial health.
Start saving money
Saving money isn't only essential for peace of mind but ensures that you have something to see yourself through a financial pinch. Financial emergencies like a major vehicle repair or job loss can strike at any time, and having enough cash on hand during these moments can prevent you from taking loans and racking up debt. The amount you save is entirely up to you, but it is critical to be consistent to ensure that it grows over time.
Get the right credit cards
It is estimated that 70% of Americans carry a credit card. Credit cards are convenient financial products that you can use for everyday purchases like groceries, gas, and other goods and services. You can use your credit card to purchase expensive items like jewelry and TVs if the funds for these products aren't immediately at your disposal. As such, you will pay off your big purchases through several convenient monthly installments, ensuring that you can budget well without a huge hole in your finances. These cards can also help improve your credit score, making it easier to obtain loans in the future. The great thing about credit cards is there's one for everyone depending on where you are in your financial journey. Sites like Compare Credit can help you find the right credit card, so keep this in mind.