No matter where you are in your life, there are always ways to improve your finances. Below are some tips on how to do just that.
This should be your first priority. By setting goals, you give yourself something to work for and something to keep you motivated and disciplined.
Track your Spending
Figure out exactly where all of your money is going every month. How often do you go out to dinner or order take-out? How often do you buy new things? How many of those things are necessary? Go to the grocery store and make your own meals. If you want to purchase something, ask yourself how often you will use it, and then decide.
Increase your savings rate
If you find you have money left over after your bills are paid and you have made contributions to your retirement, put the rest of it in an emergency fund. Better yet, have an automatic transfer set up to move money from checking to savings on a recurring basis.
Maximize your Retirement Contributions
If you are able to, maximize your retirement contributions. If you have an employer sponsored 401(k), those under 50 can contribute up to $18,000. If you don’t have a 401(k) available, contribute to an IRA. The max for those under 50 is $5,500.
An easy way to pay your bills on time every month is to set them to auto pay. You don’t have to think about them again, and they will get paid on time. Also, as I mentioned above, automate your savings as well. You will be amazed how quickly it adds up when you save first and spend after.
These are just a few tips that can help you get your finances on the right track. The most important part is to be disciplined. Prioritize your savings, retirement, and your bills before you decide to spend it on a night out.