Managing household finances isn’t easy. Plenty of people have slowly dug themselves into a pit of debt with poor spending choices and behavior. The good news is that it is possible to turn your finances around by making better decisions and being more strategic with your spending. Below are five tips that can help you do a better job with your money.
Create a Budget on Your Smart Phone
While budgeting used to mean sitting down with a pen and paper there are now many household budgeting apps that can help you do the job more easily. They can perform math, allow you to schedule bill payments, alert you of upcoming expenses and more. Better yet, you can access your budget from anywhere with your phone.
Use a Personal Checking Account
Also be strategic with how you spend. You should be using a personal checking account with actual written checks. Debit cards are very convenient. However, due to how they work like credit cards, they can also lead to impulsive spending decisions. Having to write out a personal check, however, forces a person to be more mindful of how they spend money. Most any bank, such as the State Bank of Cross Plains, will allow you to set up an account like this. Once the account is made you are off to a great start as far as being financially stable goes.
Cut Unnecessary Expenses
To turn your financial livelihood around, you are going to have to make some sacrifices. There are probably certain expenses you can do without. For example, if your cable bill is too high, you may want to consider streaming videos to your TV from your computer for free. If you are a smoker, use improving your finances as a good excuse to kick the habit.
Track Your Credit Score
Something that lenders, employers and others use to judge your financial health is your credit score. Learn what your credit score is by requesting it from the credit reporting agencies like Experian and FICO. Then take substantive action to improve the score. You’ll need to if you ever want to take out big loans like a mortgage.
Create and Stick to Shopping Lists
Retailers and grocery stores make a lot of money from last minute impulse purchases. If you want to stay in a budget, you need to avoid such impulsive spending decisions. Instead, create a shopping list each time you go out to shop and make a good effort to stick to it. You’ll quickly discover how much money you were wasting every month by not doing so.
Improving your finances and staying within a budget takes some discipline. However, it is always worth it to stay out of debt and have money left over for when you need it.