5 Tips for Better Money Management in 2017
Was saving more money on your New Year resolution list? January is always a depressing financial month after the holidays, and saving more and spending less always becomes a top priority. If the first month of 2017 still wasn’t great regarding spending and savings, here are a few tips to keep you on track for the rest of the year.
1.Set a budget
While this is one of the more dreaded tactics, creating a bulletproof budget will allow you to allocate exactly how much you can spend on expenses such as rent, food, and bills, how much you have for entertainment and shopping, and how much you want to put away for savings. A fixed budget is the best way to train yourself to discern between the three and take control of your finances.
This next tip may seem redundant, but it is crucial yet also overlooked:
2.Track your budget
Often people will create a fantastic budget but only track their expenses mentally. This allows for overlaps and discrepancies and leaves you wondering at the end of the month where all your money went. It is imperative to create a spreadsheet and physically track where your money is going. You will then be able to see how much is left in your budget, as well as identify things that you are overspending on. Solo Expenses is the perfect app to help you track all of your expenses and where your money is going in real time.
3.Put your money to work – invest.
Investing can be a terrifying word, but it doesn’t mean you need to commit to high-risk, high-rewards opportunities. Investing can be as easy as opening up a savings account that pays you interest. It’s recommended that you choose a plan that is paying interest that at least matches the rate of inflation, if not higher. Book a quick meeting with a bank representative, and they can explain what type of account is best for you depending on how much you want to put away up front.
4.Create an automatic savings plan.
Setting up an automatic savings plan is one of the best things you can do for your finances in 2017. There are so many options to choose from such as varying or fixed amounts being paid into your savings account weekly or monthly, or even talk to your bank about having money be deposited into your savings every time you use your debit card. Having some money automatically deposited, even if just small amounts, is one of the best ways to grow your savings without even thinking about it.
5.Treat yourself – set a goal
A lot of the time spending can be an emotional act, usually out of boredom or unhappiness. When you don’t have a goal in mind, impulse buying habits erupt because you know you have ‘available’ money. Harness your mental power and set a goal – this could be anything from wanting to have a certain amount of savings by next year, maybe a downpayment on a house, or treat yourself to a well-deserved trip. When you know there’s something you want to save for, you will be more conscious of your spending habits and will maybe skip that second cup of coffee, or pass over the shirt you don’t need.
The most important thing in 2017 is to not hide from your finances. Don’t avoid checking your account balance, rather stay on top of your money by dictating and tracking where it’s going. Investing in savings plans is a sure fire way to build your bank account no matter how small the payments or interest. By keeping an eye on your accounts, you will be able to see the returns and can gradually increase your deposits to get higher returns.