Over the past few months, I have been taking a hard look at my financial situation. With student loans, credit card debt, and monthly bills I thought it would be a good idea to look at my spending habits and make a few changes for the better. That way I’m not singing the same sad song when I’m forty.
“If you’re broke and you know it clap your hands (insert clap hands)”
With the small changes I have made, my financial situation has already improved. Try a few and I’m sure you’ll see more green in your future.
1. Look at Your Finances
Sounds pretty basic, right? But are you doing it? I don’t mean looking at your bank account after a long weekend or when the direct deposit hits. I mean checking your account several times a week and looking at where your hard-earned cash is going. I have started checking my account about 4-5 times a week. Why? Because it is a reminder of where I am at financially and what I can spend. It also helps me keep track of all the small spending I do. That is what drains our pockets most of the time, and we can be unaware we’re even doing it. I had one friend who would ask herself how many hours were equal to the amount she would pay for an item. When you look at it that way you may delete a few items from your shopping cart.
2. Trim the Fat – Immediately
Once you begin to look at your spending, next you need to look at what can go. Small things like morning lattes, eating out every day, that third slight different shade of pink nail polish- can go. No more frivolous spending when trying to make a real financial change. If you have debt you may have to pull the reins a bit tighter and start cutting back in other areas. Get rid of all those subscriptions and start to separate your needs from the wants. If the thought of this stresses you out start small. Get rid of things you won’t notice are gone and #treatyoself to a healthier financial future.
3. Learn to Say No
Yes, you will have to learn to say NO, because when you're trying to get your money right you won’t be able to accept every dinner invitation, girls trip, or weekend sale. It is going to be important for you to learn how to have fun without spending any cash. Trust me it’s possible. I spent an entire weekend going out and didn’t spend a dime. It just took a bit of planning, and since it’s summer there are plenty of fun free things happening everywhere. Spend some time in nature and skip brunch (shhhh I didn’t say that). Have a picnic instead.
A major factor for being successful in anything is planning and your money is no different. If you think about what most people spend cash on it is food. Learn how to plan and start packing. Look ahead and plan when you want to pay off any debts or reach a certain amount in savings. Set a realistic yet challenging deadline. Then plan how you are going to do it. The more detailed the better.
5. Get Crafty
This one may seem a bit odd. Put your glue gun away unless you are fixing something rather than throwing it out and buying a new one. We have to admit often times we can be wasteful and toss things to the side long before they’re expired, simply because we want the latest item out there. It’s time to reduce, reuse, and recycle in the name of savings! Before you trash or donate things ask yourself what else can you use it for? You may find some items in your home can have some unconventional uses but will save you from going out and buying what people tell you you need.
Increase your financial knowledge
It’s important to know more about money other than it can be used to buy things. Go to your bank and find out what services they offer and how they can help you grow your dough.