Hello everyone, hope all of you are doing great. I was thinking about a topic to write today, so I decided to head off and do some research as usual. One of the things that people are frequently searching on Google and other search engines are “How to improve my finances” or “how to increase my finance”.
These are some keywords that fellow internet users like you and me are searching every month. They are not very big figures, but definitely, a substantial amount that could use some proper assistance going forward.
In this world money isn’t everything, there is definitely more to it than just money. However, in Today’s world money seems to be the main focus. Almost everything revolves around money, disappointing isn’t it? If you want to get married, start a family, buy expensive house/cars, travel, pay medical bills… I can go on and on, and on…but this isn’t what the article is about.
Basically, in this post, I’m going to share with you some tips that I think you should put into practice immediately, especially if you want to improve your finances. Improving finances don’t really have to mean that you need to earn more money, it also can mean that you save more money. People with more money have a tendency of over spending and when they come near the end of the month they start wondering how they spent all their money.
So… it doesn’t really matter if you are some from a middle-class family or someone who is earning lots of money. If you are not doing the right things, you can lead yourself to an empty pocket end of every month.
Some people will disagree with me, but personally, I feel that you don’t really have to hire a financial planner or advisor to help you improve your finance. If you do some of this simple tips I am about to share with you, you are already good to go.
Alright without further ado, let’s dive into Today’s topic itself…
#1: Set Clear & Defined Goals
The very first step you should take is to set some proper financial goals. This is not something that you think through within snap of a finger. I want you to really sit down and set yourself some clear and realistic, short-term and long-term financial goals.
I will show you an example right below on how to differentiate clear and realistic goals…
I want to become rich or millionaire within few years <— Wrong
I want to go out of debt, and save $20,000 within the next two years <— Correct
Short-term: 1 to 2 years from now
Long-term: 5 to 10 years from now
Most of us will tend to neglect the long-term goals over time because of the mindset, “5 years or 10 years from now? still long way…”
That’s correct, sooner or later we get lazy or just can’t be bothered because the time frame is just too long. That’s where short-term goals come in. These short terms goals will be the one that keeps you on the right track to achieving your long-term goals. So if you ask me, I would say both are important.
Don’t try to carve out your financial goals inside your mind because these will not work out. You are setting yourself to failure if you do that. Why I say this is, almost everyone forgets less important things as days goes by. Things like setting goals will definitely be in the back corner of your head where you probably won’t remember for awhile. How are you going to take action if you even forgot that you set such goals?
So… writing inside your head is a no go!
I want you to write your financial goals on a paper and place it in a location where you will frequently look at. It could be in your bedroom, kitchen or even your living room. Whenever you look at it, it should remind you of your financial goals you have set yourself.
#2: Clear Your Debts Fast
Debts can snowball very quickly if you are not careful. So the idea here is that you want to clear it as soon as possible.
So how do you do it?
It is not as difficult as you think it is. List down all your debts that you have to pay off in the order of biggest to smallest. Now, weigh which ones to pay off first. If there is a particular time frame for the debts, then it’s obvious that you pay the earlier ones first.
If all of them have no fixed timing than you would want to decide on which you want to pay off first. You can start with paying the biggest amount first or you can do it the other way round. Personally, I would prefer to clearer the small ones first because they can be settled within a shorter period of time and will give you the momentum to go on and clear the rest quickly.
#3: Cut Unnecessary Expenses
If you want to see more money in your hand at the end of every month, this going to be crucial. You have to start differentiating between things you need and want.
Let’s look at the definition given by study.com
“the economic definition of a need is something needed to survive. In economics, the idea of survival is real, meaning someone would die without their needs being met. This includes things like food, water and shelter.”
” A want, in economics, is one step up in order from needs and is simply something that people desire to have, that they may, or may not, be able to obtain.”
Things like insurance, water, gas, electricity, groceries are definitely something that you need for your everyday life. But if you take a look a some of these things you can actually see that it is possible to cut expenses within the “need” category too.
So what do I mean by that?
Water, gas and electricity are things that you can’t live without, so you need them in your everyday life. You still can reduce your expenses on these things because how much you pay is dependent on how much you use. Correct?
Simple things like, if you are not using the fan or watching TV, switching off can definitely reduce your electricity expenditure. Also, if you are someone who loves to shower for over an hour, then you should consider cutting it down so that you can have more money at the end of the month.
Groceries are necessary if you are eating at home. How do you save money on this? Simple, buy the amount that you are going to use. Don’t stock your fridge with groceries for weeks and let them rot, and all you can do is throw them away. Isn’t this wasting unnecessary money?
So you see… you can actually cut your expenses in things that you need. Though the margin is considerably low, it can actually add up to over hundreds of dollars a month.
Changing mobile phone every time a new model is released is definitely in the want category. These are things that you can live without and is not necessary for you to frequently change mobile phones. I have personally come across people who change their mobile phones every three months or so(I’m not sure what happiness/greatness they see in changing their phones so frequently). It just doesn’t seem right to me, these people don’t really know the importance of money.
In order to really cut your expenses, it is necessary to eliminate as many as you could from the “want” category because the margin is way higher than the “need”.
Most of these things boil down to your habit and lifestyle. It is going to be difficult to correct everything at once, so, go at your own pace and correct them one by one.
I also have a small exercise for you – Do this when you are thinking about purchasing something.
Whenever you want to purchase something, ask yourself whether is it something you need or want and can you live without it. This small exercise can eliminate you from spending unnecessary money.
Having said that, I don’t want this to spoil your happiness. You should still have the mindset of “YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE” somewhere in your head. So try to enjoy yourself and spend on things you want but just don’t overdo it. Keep it in moderation and I’m sure you would be able to see more money on your hands at the end of the month.
#4: Set a Budget & Keep Track of Your Expenses
What you would want to do is set a daily, weekly and monthly budget for all your expenses. Also, at the same time keep aside an amount of money for saving. The whole idea of the budget is so that you will not have to arrive in a situation to use the money you kept to save.
Another good habit that you can incorporate with this is start tracking your expenses on a daily basis. You can either write it on a paper or my personal preference would be, create an excel file and list down all the things you spent for the day. This wouldn’t take too much of your time, at most 10-15 minutes I guess.
Make this a habit of yours, for instance, you can do this right before you go to bed. Collate all the receipts or if you remember what and how much you spend is also great. Note it down on your excel spreadsheet and compare it with your daily, weekly and monthly budget accordingly.
If you feel that at some point that you have overspent, don’t worry. Everything is about compromise, now for the next remaining period of the month you have to try and manage with the budget you have set yourself and not go into the saving money you put aside.
#5: Take Care of Yourself
I believe many of you didn’t see this coming but, yes, taking care of yourself is going to help you improve you finance in a way or another. Did you know that Americans spend $3 trillion on healthcare alone every year? If just one country spends this amount, just imagine how much money are being spent on healthcare worldwide every year.
Instead of spending money on medical bills, why not prevent illnesses by doing the right things.
Sometimes life is really unexpected, you may take good care of yourself and still get diagnosed with all sorts of health problems. But, majority of the time, if you take care of yourself properly you will be sick-free for years to come.
There are many ways to care for yourself. For e.g.
- Eating less fast food & processed food
- Eat home-cooked food
- Use less oil, preservatives
- Don’t stress yourself over small issues, if stressed do some sort of relaxing exercises like meditation
- Exercise regularly
- Eat for fruits and vegetables
- If age is catching up to you, try to go for regular medical check-ups to see anything is wrong with you, if there is, early detection can save you a lot of trouble, medical bills and even your life
There are thousands of ways to take care of yourself. Most may be common for everyone but there are some that varies from individuals to individuals. So you need to start looking at yourself (lifestyle) and start correcting the mistakes that you have been making since long ago.
In conclusion, if you are healthy, you are less susceptible to illnesses and eventually you can save up this money instead of spending it on medical bills.
#6: Create multiple income streams
If you want to take your finance to the next level then you should start seeking other income streams. There is only much you could do with your current income, so it’s good to establish several income streams.
Of course, there are a few ways you can do this. You either find a new part time job or look for opportunities to make money online during your free time. I definitely prefer the latter because having an extra job on top of your current job is going to take a toll on your happiness and health over time. We don’t want this!
If you go back 10 to 15 years ago, nobody would have imagined it is possible to make money online. But now, let me tell you there are hundreds of ways to make money online.
You could do,
- Take surveys
- Click on Advertisements
- Sell your own Products
- Start an Online business
Some of these are passive income while some are not. I would suggest you seek something that will give you passive income, meaning you earn money even while sleeping or travelling and without doing much.
Is it possible?
Yes, it is. However, you are required to put in lots of effort, in the beginning, to establish to that level where you can generate revenue with little effort. Do keep in mind that there is no such thing as easy money in this world. You have to work hard for it, in one way or another.
For those of you who are interested to know how I earn passive full-time income online, I highly encourage that you read about my #1 Recommendation!
Alright, I have come to the end of the article. I hope this post has benefited you greatly. I know there are lots of other ways to improve your finances, the above I mentioned are just a few.
I am curious to know what are the things you guys do to improve your overall finance. Please feel free to use the comment section below and share with us your personal strategy, which will definitely be beneficial for some of our readers.
That’s all for me. I look forward to reading your personal experience and thoughts below.