Having self control is never an easy thing. And for many people, this becomes the most apparent when they think about their finances. While you might know intellectually how you should be spending or saving your money, actually doing those things in your real life can be a lot more challenging.
If this is something that you’re wanting to work on, here are three ways you can start to get a better handle on your personal finances.
Create Goals As You Set Your Budget
Everyone knows that setting a budget with your money is one of the most productive ways to manage your income and expenses. However, many people find themselves getting stuck on creating a budget that only covers their fixed expenses and doesn’t give them the freedom to spend their money in the ways that they actually want to.
To fix this, Maryalene LaPonsie, a contributor to the U.S. News and World Report, shares that when you’re setting your budget, you need to also have a firm idea of what financial goals you have. This way, you can work those goals into your budget from the get-go rather than having to try to remember to set money aside or reallocate your funds with whatever’s left at the end of the month. By doing this, you’ll be able to actually start prioritizing the things you want with your finances.
Make Paying Off Debt Your Top Priority
When you have a lot of different financial directions that you’re being pulled, it can be hard to know where to start and which priority to give your attention to first.
One simple way to get started here is to work on paying off your debt first. Once you’re able to get out from under even a small portion of the debt you have, you’re going to find that you have a lot more freedom with your money on a weekly and monthly basis. Then, you can start using your money how you really want to.
To make some good headway on paying down your debts, Miriam Caldwell, a contributor to The Balance, suggests going things like selling off some of your possessions, taking on an extra side hustle, or drastically cutting down parts of your spending. Then, once you’re able to pay down some of your debt, you can slowly bring these things back into your life in a financially smart way.
Get Your Credit Under Control
If you have bad credit, you can lose a lot of control over your own finances. But luckily, there are plenty of simple and effective ways to start building your credit back up over time.
To do this, you’ll want to start creating some good habits around your credit. Nerdwallet.com shares that one of the most important guidelines to follow here is to try not to spend over 30 percent of the credit you have available to you. If you’re able to do this, you should start to see your credit improve.
If you’re needing some help getting a better handle on your finances, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you do just this.