Making sound financial decisions in a consumer-driven world is about as simple as threading a needle with your eyes closed. Even those of us that strive to strengthen our financial foundation can feel the earth shifting beneath us as we book that trip we can’t afford or open that marketing email proclaiming “50% Off One Day Only!”
When trying to regain control over personal finances, big sweeping changes seem alluring, but it is the small incremental habits that can actually affect finances long term. Turning your financial woes into personal successes doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. With just a few key money-saving habits you can boost your bank account in the new year.
In This Post:
Set Realistic Financial Goals
One mistake most of us make when it comes to saving money is setting unattainable goals. Ask yourself what you want the most. Is your goal to pay off debt? Do you want to have a certain amount of dollars in your savings account? These are realistic goals that can easily be attained through smart planning. Your action plan for financial planning will vary greatly depending on your specific goals. For example, saving for retirement is going to yield a different path than saving to buy a new computer.
Set An Easy-to-Follow Budget
Experts recommend setting financial goals and then creating a budget that promotes those goals. Setting a budget allows you to understand exactly how much money is coming in and how much is going out after necessary expenses. It also allows you to set goals after those expenses have been paid.
Any money that is left over after those set expenses have been paid can be allocated in different ways. This is where your goals come into mind. Plan what you are going to use for discretionary spending and figure out how much you can afford to spend each week to meet your goals. Knowing exactly how much you can spend each week gives you easy guidelines to follow.
Get Creative With Staying On Track
Once you’ve set a budget and have examined your expenses, its time to get creative with sticking to that budget. Just having a number in mind isn’t always enough. This is where technology can be your friend. Experts recommend using budget apps, tracking finances through spreadsheets, and getting creative with email templates.
Some have found success in utilizing an email template generator to send themselves daily marketing style emails with their budgeting goals and successes in mind. Much like you would open an email from your favorite brand, you can open an email from yourself, reminding you of your financial goals.
Ditch One Frivolous Expense
After you’ve set goals and created a budget, one easy habit that can yield good results is ditching just one frivolous expense every week or two. If you’re someone who buys coffee daily, cut that out first and make coffee at home. If you bring bottled water to work, invest in a reusable bottle and ditch the habit. Start by considering whether this daily habit brings you joy. If it doesn’t and it is just a bad habit, drop that frivolous habit/expense and think deeper. If a money habit does bring you joy, refocus on something else.
Get Comfortable With Saying “No”
Most of us are conditioned to be “yes” people. It can be painful to turn down an invitation for dinner or drinks at the bar. Unfortunately, this isn’t always healthy for our personal finances. Often, we end up spending money because we don’t want to say no or admit that we can’t afford something. When it comes to boosting your bank account in 2020, get comfortable with saying “no.” You don’t have to spend your hard-earned dough just to keep up appearances.