At the start of a new year, we’re all thinking about what we want to achieve, how this year might go. And also, some of the things that we would love to do. However, unless you make a plan of how you’re going to do that, these thoughts will just stay in your mind. So, if you are serious about working on a set part of your life over the next twelve months, then you need to be intentional about it. And that means that you need to have a plan.
Now, for a lot of people, improving their financial situation is incredibly important. If you are someone that is in debt or you’re just not making as much money right now, and you’d like to be, then you’re going to want to think about changing that. But it’s important to realize that this will not just change overnight. Nor will be it easy. You have to actively work at it and make changes for this to take place.
But the good news is that it’s not impossible. When you’re ready to change and control your budget, you’ll find that this is one of the best things that you’ve ever done. And it’s easy too! So let’s take a look at exactly what you can do to get your financial life together now.
Know What You Owe
First of all, you need to get to the bottom of what’s going on with your financial life. So, if you are in debt, it’s time to find out the exact figure out what you owe. And to whom because you may even have old debts that you now need to chase up and arrange to settle. And yes this can be scary, but it’s worth it. Because then you’re in the best position to make a change going forward.
Know Your Habits
Then the next thing is getting to know your attitude to money a lot better and how you spend. Because we all have spending habits that are either instinctive or that we’ve just picked up over time. Are you an emotional spender? Are you impulsive? Do you follow the crowds? Get to know where your issues lie because then you’re going to have a much better chance at putting things right.
Create A Budget
If you don’t have one already, you need to think about having a budget. Because it’s essential for you to be able to allocate all of your money in the right areas. It’s easy to think that you can just spend as you please and you’ll have enough. But that’s really not the case. Instead, you need to create a budget in a spreadsheet program or by using a specialist app. Then you need to allocate all of your money so that you know where it’s going. This allows you to have so much more control over your finances.
Track What You Spend
And then, to make sure that your budget works, you need to track your spend for a month or two. At first, don’t overly try to change it. Sure, be a bit more conscious and try to work on those spending habits of yours. But you need to see where your money is realistically going first of all so that you can create the most efficient budget going forward.
And then the next thing is, you need to be able to prioritize and know where your money is best spent. And this applies to everything. So do you want to eat out or travel more? So, think about the cost of having snakes for pets versus maybe the cost of getting a goldfish? Or maybe you want to cut back on groceries and toys and clothes so that you can put money towards a business? You have to work out what’s important to you, and then make the best financial decision for your lifestyle.
And then from here, you’re also going to want to think about making sacrifices too. Because as we have already established, you have set priorities. You have these things in life that you really want to be spending on or that you want to allocate your money towards, and this means that they need to take up the majority of your budget. And now, you’ll notice that there’s no a lot left for other things. And this is why you are going to want to stop buying daily coffees or clothes or subscriptions because your money is meant for better things.
Cut Back More
From here, you’re then going to want to make sure that you’re actively looking to reduce the amount that goes out on bills too. Because there are always ways to cut expenses and you can always get things cheaper. But if you don’t look at what you’re paying out on now, how you can make it cheaper or cut it out altogether?
Next, you’re going to want to work out where you’re going. And this is why it’s a really good reason for you to think about setting some financial goals for yourself. Because if you want to keep on track and you want to make this happen sooner than you first thought, you need to be really pushing towards something. And knowing where you’re going and whether you want to pay down debt or buy a house can really keep you focused.
Start To Save
And then, when you’ve gotten to this point, you’re going to find yourself in this magical place in life where you’re going to be able to start saving. Yes, that’s right, you can now put some money away in a safe place. And even if you’re thinking that you need to pay off ALL of your debt first before you do this, you don’t. Because what if something happens where you need money? Then you’re going to be in MORE debt. So you need to get a safety net behind you so that this doesn’t happen again.
Try To Earn More
But then, the biggest thing that is going to be able to help you here is what you earn. Because if you’re already cutting back as much as you can, and you have good control over your budget, the next step is to increase what’s coming in. And this is surprisingly easy when you put your mind to it. Work out how to get a pay rise or get a second job. Even start a side hustle. Your possibilities here really are endless if you want it bad enough.
And there you have it. Now you can see just how easy this is to do. Sure, at first, when you’re in a less than perfect financial situation, you may feel as if you’re stuck there. And that you’re never going to be able to change things. But that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Because if you want something to happen and it’s is in your complete control, then you just need to work to get there.
And you will. Whether it takes two months or twelve months or two years, it will happen for you. The best part is when you start, and you start to see the effects of your hard work (literally) paying off, then you’ll have the bug. And you’ll want to keep on working at this even when you are in a good financial situation. So, it’s time to go forth and see what kind of changes you can make to your financial life.
Additional Resource: How to make money at home?