When I was 28, I had to face the reality of my financial situation. I was getting out of a 3 year romantic relationship in which I wasn't financially independent—my mistake.I walked out with $300 in my bank account, no full-time job, and nowhere to live. Such a scary time, but I didn't let fear paralyze me. I was determined to move forward and there was no looking back. I crashed at my brother's apartment, didn't get 1 but 2 jobs, and I followed these 6 things that helped me improve my finances in less than 6 months. If you want to improve your finances right now, want to pay off debt, or simply want to get a jump start on saving for a major financial goal—like buying a condo or investing in the stock market. These 6 things can help you get control of your finances.
- Start Budgeting: A budget is your best tool to change your financial future. The 50/30/20 tool is great to start making your money work for you.
- Cut Your Monthly Bills: This can be done a few different ways. Lower your utility costs, cancel your cable, choose different providers for your services, and cook and eat at home.
- Stop Eating Out: Easiest way to save money each month! An occasional nice meal out is fine, but savings really start adding up if you start cooking at home instead of eating out each day. Plan a monthly menu—makes it easier to shop for food without being wasteful. Bring your lunches to work, and invite friends over. You may be surprised at just how much you can save!
- Pay Off Your Debt: Credit card debt is the devil. If you want to change your financial picture, you need to work on paying off your debt as quickly as possible. Set up a debt payment plan, and stop relying on your credit cards to get by. Leave your credit cards at home, or put a hold on them so you can’t use them on the spot.
- Start an Emergency Fund: Put money into savings each week or each time you get paid. It could be a set amount or the amount you allocated on your budget. Protect your savings from yourself. Move your savings to an online bank or somewhere you can’t retreat easily.
- Set Realistic Goals: Take the time to set short and long-term financial goals. Make sure they are realistic goals so you don’t get discouraged. Track your goals so that you can see how much you have accomplish—this can help you stay on track.