5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Finances
May 6, 2013
If you already have a savings account—great! If not, head over to your local bank (or use an online bank) and set one up, preferably one with a great interest rate. Next, you have two options: 1.) have a percentage of your paycheck direct deposited into the account or 2.) set up an automatic transfer from checking account to your savings account. The money will grow without much effort on your part and chances are, since it’s automatic, you probably won’t even miss the money because you hadn’t seen it yet!
2. Lower Your Monthly Bills
Do you really need cable, Netflix, and Hulu? Can you turn the heat down in the winter by a few degrees? Or lower your cell phone bill by switching to a different plan? Most likely, you can find a few extra bills that you can either reduce or completely eliminate. By doing so, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
3. Comparison Shop
Before you make a purchase—whether it’s a car, computer, or new shoes—comparison shop to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Check online sites and Google reviews to help find the best value for your money. You’d be surprised by the amount of money you can save by taking the time to do a little investigative research before you make a purchase.
4. Find Your Money Leaks
Spending too much money on lattes? Always have to buy the latest video game? Can’t resist going out and splurging dinner and drinks every payday? If your spending habits and hobbies are leaving your account balance low, find a way to cut back. Bring your own coffee to work. Rent video games or borrow from friends. Try to set a budget for your nights out. By figuring out where your money is going, you’ll probably realize you’re spending a lot more than you thought.
5. Get Organized
Being organized is one of the best things you can do for your finances. By keeping good track of your bills and due dates, you’ll never miss a payment or pay another late fee again. Take it a step further and try setting up your accounts for automatic bill pay. Ask your bank if they offer a bill pay service and they’ll help get you started. Most utility and credit card companies offer an automatic payment option as well, so check out their websites for more information.
If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, try out one or all of these easy tips to improve your finances. These simple steps can add up to big bucks down the road.
–Niomi Williams, Financial Literacy EducatorShare on Facebook