1. Make Smart Purchases – Before every purchase, big or small, ask yourself: Do I really need this? Is this purchase part of my financial plan? Can I do without this item? How will this purchase affect my budget? Asking yourself these questions will make you stop and think before making spur-of-the moment purchases that could affect your finances long-term.
2. Re-Evaluate Your Budget Each Month – Your budget will fluctuate from month-to-month, depending on your income and expenses. Some months you might make more or less than others and some months you might have unexpected expenses come up like an emergency room visit or car repair. It’s important that you adjust your budget and plan accordingly. Stay on track with a printable budget sheet (there are tons of free ones on Pinterest).
3. Make Small Daily Savings Goals – It’s overwhelming to think about saving thousands of dollars a year to put in a savings account or emergency fund. An easy way to build up your savings is to make it a goal to save $5 a day (the cost of a latte or fast food meal). At the end of the year, you will have saved $1,825! Even if you only save $1 a day, that is better than nothing.
4. Get Organized – Don’t just create a plan and forget about it. Write it down on paper or type it up on your computer and print it off. Pin it on your fridge or on the wall in your office. Seeing it every day will keep it in the forefront of your mind and will ultimately help you stay motivated. It’s also a good idea to create folders for all of your expenses and financial documents. This will help you down the road come tax season.
5. Meet with a Financial Advisor – If you have no idea where to start, a financial advisor can lead you in the right direction. They will take a look at your income and expenses and help you create a plan that is attainable. They can also help you invest your money and plan for short-term and long-term goals, such as education expenses and retirement.