You will need to work hard on your personal and working life to gain more control over your finances. It’s an important life step, as getting ahead of your finances and having more control opens up much more opportunities in life, such as purchasing your own home or affording things you’ve always wanted to do.
Below this paragraph, you will find certain steps and advice that you can follow to reach where you want to go. The main thing that can help, is to set goals for everything in life, whether it’s for short-term wants or long-term needs.
Budget Everything Early
If you have started to lose control over your finances or how you handle your finances, then you may benefit from creating a budget plan. This plan could help you to break down each month in terms of how much money you spend. This means comparing how much money you have coming in each month, and how much you usually spend.
From there, you can start looking at your income and taking away the expenses that are critical to your life, then adding in extra stuff that you want. This will help you determine how much your spending could be saved, and what you can lower down each month to start saving more money.
For one month, you should track the spending and compare it to the previous month to see if you’ve managed to make any dents in your expenses, and what can be done for the following month.
Reduce Your Monthly Bills
Something that you can do to make an effective dent in your expenses is to take a look at your monthly bills. These bills could be your utility bills, which may be locked into place through rental contracts or mortgage plans. However, there will be bills that you can look at having lowered, such as your phone contract or water bill. In some cases, you may be able to lower the utility bill purely by lowering the amount of consumption, such as electricity.
If you contact these organizations that are in charge of your utilities and inform them that you want to move to a competitor as they are offering a lower rate, you may find that they want to offer an even lower rate. That’s because they want to keep your business in whatever way they possibly can. This will be an effective way to regain control over your finances, as well as provide you with key information about how much you’re spending.
Cut Unneeded Subscriptions
In a similar line of thinking, you should be looking at your subscriptions, and how much you are spending on them. For example, think about your gym subscription and if you are truly getting your money’s worth. You may be paying $30 a month to get access to a gym that you’re only visiting once or twice a month due to your busy schedule. So, it could be worth your time looking into a cheaper subscription for off-peak times, or even utilizing day passes when you feel more up to it.
It’s also likely that you currently have a range of different digital subscriptions, such as cable passes or gaming subscriptions. Go through your bank statement and look at the apps on your phone to see how many different subscriptions you have to find if you’re getting your money’s worth. For example, you may have five different subscriptions to TV or film platforms that you could do with cutting.
Go Out Less
You’ll find that you spend more money than you’re aware of in terms of when you go out, whether that’s in the bars or the restaurants. Opting to purchase raw materials such as food and drinks for consumption at home can offer you the same quality at a fraction of the price.
That doesn’t mean you need to not ever go out for food now and again, but instead to cut it down. The same can be said for how much you’re spending on takeaways each week, as even fast food can add up in small payments each week, as it all adds up.
The situation for alcohol is similar, as cocktails can cost more than actual wholesale bottles of liquor and spirits. So if you buy these bottles yourself, rather than go out, then you could see yourself saving money inviting people over to your house instead of meeting out.
Make More Investments
A great way for you to take more control over your finances is to look into investments. If you don’t currently have any investments, then you should consider looking into creating an investment portfolio, as this can help protect your finances in the future even when your income lowers, or your job security is in danger.
An investment portfolio consists of a variety of investments such as property, stock, bonds and even cryptocurrency. You very well may have an investment portfolio in place now with the most popular additions to one being property and stock. These days, you should be looking to diversify your portfolio with different investments to give yourself the best chance.
Cryptocurrency is something that you should be looking to add to your portfolio as the trend is becoming more mainstream. You must take these cryptocurrencies and safely secure them, through something known as a Bitcoin wallet. You’ll be able to find these wallets through providers such as Wealthsimple, who offer different types of wallets for different needs. You’ll find that certain wallets offer different purposes depending on how you want to store your Bitcoin, and how you want to diversify your portfolio in general.
Prep Your Weeks Food
Another effective way to get ahead of your finances is to prepare your weekly food ahead of time so that you’re not rushing about it. Sometimes, you’ll find that the most money you spend each week comes in the form of purchasing breakfast, lunch or dinner because you can’t be bothered to cook anything. If instead, you cook a big batch of food on a Sunday, then you may find that you are saving money as your meals are already done.
Consolidate Debt Or Pay It Off
An effective way of getting ahead of your finances and grabbing back control is to pay off any outstanding debt that you have. Of course, this is easier said than done, but there are fortunately solutions for this.
If you are not in a position to be able to afford to pay off any debt outright, then instead consider looking into debt consolidation. Debt consolidation is a type of loan that looks to pay your debts for you, leaving you to then repay the lender. Whilst this may not seem like much of a change, it’s important to note that most debt consolidation systems leave you to repay in a monthly payment that is lower than the amount you had been paying previously.
Put More Money Aside
It will benefit you to put money aside regularly, through savings. This will not only allow you to have more money put aside for treats in the future but also to prepare you for any potential emergencies in the future.
You could do this by opening a savings account, or just not taking as much money out of your account as much as you used to. It can be difficult to understand how you can do this, and how you can make it happen, which is why it may be worth speaking to a financial advisor who could advise you on how to save.
If you set any saving goals, then this may also help you. A savings goal could be for a holiday or a big purchase that you want. If you know how much you need to save, and you set yourself a timetable, then you can visualize this a lot easier and make it happen.
Add More To Your Retirement Fund
In terms of your future, you should look at your retirement fund and figure out how you can protect your future. There will be a few different systems available to you, and it’s worth speaking to your employer to find out what you’re on right now, and if you have other options.
Whilst most of the time a small percentage of your income will be automatically put away for your retirement fund, you may be able to make your contributions when you feel like you can. This may be a viable option, and one to look into.
Find More Sources Of Income
Finally, you will find that your main financial concerns come from a lack of income, rather than an excess of spending. You can cut expenses as much as you like, but if you haven’t even got the income in general, then you’ll struggle. You may be able to find more sources of income from seeking a new job or looking into moving on up in your career. The more income you have, then the more financial stability you’ll have. It may even be worth looking into side hustles, that can get you extra money each month.