Late payments, fees and interest. Just a few words that come to mind when you say "money trouble".
Here's your reality check!
Hey! Lots of us struggle keeping track of our money.
Don't worry! We have some simple tips to follow to help you get control of your finances.
But first, why does it matter?
Interest & Fees!
Next time you pay your bills—add up all the interest and fees you pay. Then figure out how many hours you have to work to pay those.
Remember—it's not your hourly pay, it's your post-tax, take-home rate!
Take It a Step Further:
Set a timer at work and realize everything you do
JUST TO PAY FEES!
Keeping Your Hard-Earned Money
So let's look at how to knock those out.
Online or Off?
Make sure that you keep track of your finances in just one place, either online, or offline. Either is fine, whichever suits you best. Make your pick, and stick to it.
Check it out.
Create a Budget
Remember that from "Basic Budgeting"?
If you have $10 in your pocket and go shopping, you won't spend more than what you have in your hand.
Organize your finances in the same way. If you know how much money you make and need to pay every month, it's easier to stay on target.Need a refresher?
Advanced Budgeting Tips!
Now we know you have that budget, and we know you're going to stick to it, let's advance this budgeting stuff a tad, shall we?
1) Move your budget to the cloud!
Even though this tip on budgeting may not seem unusual or new in any way, moving your budget to the cloud is, at least for the majority of people!
You created your budget after going through this stuff, and changes are you jotted it down on a piece of paper, right?
Great, now let's move it to the cloud.
Personally, we use Google Drive, and simply put all our financial data in an Excel sheet; income, expenses, savings, all the lot. Every time we spend something, no matter where we are, we can easily and quickly adjust our spreadsheet (money nerds as we are, we keep a tab open in our phone's web browser for easy access).
Makes sense? Of course, if you'd rather go "more digital", like with apps and stuff, check below for more info.
2) Name your savings account(s)!
You know the importance of saving, and it happens to be good for you (and for your financial future), too.
When you know what you are saving for, you're likely to save more…. It's a fact! So, divide your saving account into different pots, each of which have a unique name.
For us, one of them is called "hands off", that's the emergency fund. The next is called "toys", for when saving for a gadget we really like. Another has the name of a street where we would like to live someday (though chances are bigger that this is going into remodeling at our current address instead).
By naming your savings goals, you make saving tangible. You know exactly what you are working towards, how much you need, and how far you are already.
3) Visualize and manifest the things you want
Got a dollar amount in your mind that would make you feel like you "made it"? Or do you have a material item that you always hoped to have one day? Great! We strongly believe in visualization and manifestation. That means closing your eyes and imagining what it would be like if you reached that certain (saving or financial) goal. For one, that is financial stability, for the other that may be a dream car.
Suppose you dream of that one awesome car. Visualize it already being yours! Close your eyes, envision the rewarding feeling of putting in the hard work and discipline of saving up for it, shaking the sales person's hand, inserting the key into the ignition (or pressing the key-less start button), enjoying the new car smell, and driving down the street to your dream house (see #2).
Is money usually a problem for you? Visualize yourself financially stable. Try to imagine and feel what it would be like if those worries disappeared. When your money worries are gone, you feel free again, ready to start moving up, towards your saving goal.
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A disclaimer: in addition to visualization, you have to work hard to achieve those goals, of course. This stuff is not "all" magic. Visualization does help you stay enthusiastic about your goal, and disciplined to get there. I see it as an extra push in the right direction. Try writing down your goals as if they have already happened in a journal every day or weekly, as well as, the steps you need to take in order to reach it, to help hold yourself accountable and keep your dream top-of-mind.
Use the Tools Available
Make use of all the apps and tools out there.
They can make your life easier, and keep track of your budget.
But do research, and pick just one or two.
And do remember...
It's Time to up Your Privacy Game
There’s a major scrimmage happening continually in the digital world. You need to get off the bench and get into the game to safeguard your personal, financial and identity information, now!
Are Payment Apps Safe?
Are they safe for your money and your budget? That all depends how you handle them...Do proper due diligence before use, starting with watching this video.
Did you get that about payment apps?
Payment apps like Venmo don't have a dispute system and should only be used with people you trust. Once the money is gone, there's no getting it back!
Pay Your Bills on Time!
Always. No matter what you do.
Pay your bills on time!
Now that you have your budget, make sure to pay your bills (in full) every month, credit cards included. Even if it includes having to open your email every day or check your online environments (hey, you chose online, remember!).