Just because you woke up this morning with financial woes, doesn’t mean you have to go to bed feeling the same! Take these 3 simple steps to improve your finances, fast and for good.
Take a look into where you’re spending your money.
A helpful way to do this is to start keeping your receipts. There is no better reminder of bad spending habits than paper proof. I’m not saying to keep your receipts for an entire year, but maybe two or three weeks. Store your weekly purchase receipts in a central place, and reserve some time to study these three things:
- Where you shop the most
- What is the average cost of your purchases
- Are there less-expensive stores you could be shopping at
This will provide you with a big-picture look at your spending, and hopefully help you to improve your habits.
Maximize your 401(k) or Retirement Fund
Do you have a 401(k)? What about an IRA or retirement fund? If you answered yes – you’re on the right track. If you answered no, it’s not too late!
Both a 401(k) and an IRA are great ways to help prepare yourself for the golden years. Experts recommend saving as much as possible for your retirement, which usually translates to about 10% to 15% of your income each year – but that figure changes based on three factors:
- Your life expectancy
- Your current spending and saving levels
- And your lifestyle preferences in retirement
Try out this retirement calculator to give you a better understanding of how much you should be contributing to your retirement!
Give Yourself an Allowance – And Stick to it
After factoring in your loan payments, bills and other necessary expenses – deduct a reasonable allowance for yourself, and stick to it! This allowance could be on a weekly or monthly basis – whichever works best for you and coincides with your payment schedule. Studies show that using a personal allowance system will help to keep the frivolous spending in check, your credit card bill low, and help to increase your savings.
Here are some efficient tips to help you to live off of an adult allowance!