Do you ever feel like you’re not totally in control when it comes to your personal finances?
Let me tell you, you are not the only one!
So many people live paycheck-to-paycheck and struggle to get out of debt. If this sounds all too familiar, it’s time to step up and master your money.
Here are five of my top tips to hop off the hamster wheel and finally rule your finances.
5 Ways To Control Of Your Finances
1. Take Responsibility
For many years, I spent money recklessly, giving little thought to where it was going. When I managed to save money, it was due to sheer luck. I had no budget and no financial goals.
Somewhere along the line, my expenses started to exceed how much I was making. I realized that I was no longer saving, just blowing through my entire salary.
The day I finally took notice, I was shocked and a little scared. If I kept going the way I was, I would eventually use up all my savings. And, where was my money even going? I had some idea but the complete picture was a mystery to me.
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So, I started tracking my expenses and finally realized where my money was disappearing to.
Some of it was going towards paying bills but the rest was mostly going towards buying food.
I’m not talking about healthy groceries for home-cooked meals. Cooking is not my favourite pass-time and I was purchasing meals VERY frequently. Eating out does not come cheap even if it’s fast food.
At that point, I took responsibility for the fact that I was being irresponsible and took measures to drastically cut back.
This is where a lot of people fall short. It’s no-one’s fault that you are not saving. There’s no conspiracy causing you to dig your way deeper into debt. Just own up to what you are doing and put measures in place to stop.
2. Set Financial Goals
Okay, so you’ve decided you want to take control of your money but it’s pretty hard to reach a destination when you don’t know what it is.
Sit down and set some financial goals. If this is all new to you, start with simple ones like how much you plan to save monthly. Determine what you need to do to get your finances in order and the steps you will take to accomplish your plan.
Write down those goals. Be specific. Include amounts and dates so you’ll know when you have reached your target.
3. Stick To A Budget
Create a budget and stick to it! This is a great way to rein in your finances. You know exactly what you have to spend each month and you can allocate the rest in any way you want.
Click here for a free Monthly Budget Workbook printable to start your financial plan.
Savings should be part of your budget. Always make sure to set money aside after you have paid all of your bills. Make saving even easier by setting up a separate account that deducts a pre-determined amount from your salary. That way, you never forget and it takes the option out of your hands to save or use the money for something else.
4. Stop Making Excuses
It can be tough to go without items you would like to buy and to say no to friends who invite you out. It’s much easier to tell yourself that you’ll save extra money next month. You can bet that it probably won’t happen.
Put measures in place to combat your most popular excuses. If you’re like me and you hate cooking, meal plan and prep your food each week. So, when you come home tired, getting dinner on the table is less stressful.
Once you fall off the wagon and start making excuses about your finances, it’s hard to stop. You’ll get caught up in that same old cycle you worked hard to get out of in the first place. Stick to your guns. When you start to see your debt decrease and your savings multiply, it will be so worth it!
5. Make Finances A Priority
In order to accomplish your financial goals, you have to make your personal finances a priority.
Find simple ways to cut back your expenses like reducing your utility bills. If you need more help, here are 10 Money-Saving Tips Guaranteed To Help You Spend Less.
There is no magic way to gain control of your finances. You have to be vigilant and mindful of every dollar you spend. It may be feel like there’s a long road ahead but I believe in you! Use these five tips and you will be able to master your money like a pro.