If you want this to be the year you finally get your finances in order, there are some tips that can help. Whether you start with a budget or pay off debt, you can improve your finances. Let’s take a closer look.
Create a Budget
First things first. If you want to improve your finances, you need a budget. You need to sit down and create a realistic budget that takes your goals into account. You may want to track your expenses for at least two months to determine how much you need to allocate for each expense.
Shop with Intent and Purpose
Do you often buy things and then wonder why? It’s easy to buy things because they were on sale or cute. If you want to save money, focus on shopping with intent and purpose. Only buy what you need. If you don’t know how you’re going to use something, don’t buy it.
If you tend to make impulse purchases, try to stay out of the store. If you live near a Walmart, you can order grocery pickup for free (or you can use Kroger Pickup for a small fee). That way you don't even have to walk into the store to get your order. Just make a list and place your order online (or via the app).
Automate Your Savings
One of the easiest ways to build your savings account is to automate your savings. When you set up an automatic savings plan, you will learn to treat savings like any other bill. This makes it so much easier to get that money into your account.
When you need something, buy secondhand. Do you need some books for your child? Shop thrift stores. Do you want a treadmill? Buy one used (trust me!). There are so many things you can purchase secondhand and save a ton of money.
Choose a Bank with Good Interest Rates and Less Fees
Improve your finances by improving your bank account. If you feel like you’re not getting enough interest, compare other banks. If you’re paying fees every time you turn around, you definitely want to switch banks.
Pay Off Debt
Paying off your debt should be a priority. Choose a method that works best for you. For many, paying off the smallest debt and building momentum works the best.
Start an Emergency Fund
Last, but not least, start an emergency fund. You want to have an account that you can rely on should you lose your job, have an emergency medical expense, etc. Most experts recommend saving between 3 to 9 months worth of expenses in your emergency fund.
If you want to improve your finances, you need to do a little work. In the end, this work will pay off by saving you money, getting you out of debt, and building a healthy savings account.