Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to live a simpler, happier, life? The concept of living a debt-free, worry-free, and financially sound life can sound like a dream for some. Managing your personal finances can feel impossible. Especially when there are kids crying, bill collectors calling, and a demanding job that’s asking for overtime.
It is important not to let things get out of control. Although, no matter your situation, it may be easier than you think to achieve your dream. The key is to take things slow. Here are eight ways to help reclaim your financial freedom.
It is important to shop around and look for the best deals possible. This idea may seem simple enough when it comes to looking for a laptop or treadmill, but it should be applied across the board. For example, you just bought a new house and its time for homeowners insurance. Don’t just settle for the first one that comes around. Instead, you may look for a tailored home cover that suits your needs without breaking the bank.
Learn to Cook
Everyone loves a good steak, salad, or latte. However, eating out and buying coffee can add up. There are better options, but they will require a little more work. Learn to cook at home, make coffee before your commute to work, and save money. It is helpful to plan ahead. Fast food is convenient but a home-cooked meal is unparalleled. Not only will it put more cash in your wallet, but it will bring you closer to the types of foods you eat. This awareness can help create better eating habits, and better overall health.
Going to the grocery store without a plan is a bad idea. Take it from experience, you need a list. A good practice is to make a budget for the week. Plan out how much you can spend on food, and make meal plans for the week. If you are the type of person that needs a coffee and muffin before work than the budget for it. Set aside a set amount of money for personal spending. The trick is to stick to the budget, at all costs.
Technology is great and it helps us to be more productive. The same applies to manage our personal finances. A simple perusal of the app store will show dozens of finance apps. Do your research and see what fits your needs the best. Perhaps, budgeting is your biggest struggle. Well, certainly there is an app for that.
A savings goal is important. This can help you to feel secure in your finances if an emergency expense were to arise. Knowing that there is money in the bank can also relieve a lot of stress. The best way to save is to set a goal and stick to it. The trick to saving is to make your goal realistic and gradually increase it. This could be putting a few dollars away into a savings account every paycheck. If possible, set up a direct deposit and those funds won’t be missed.
This one is the big hairy beast that stalks most people. No matter where you go debt will follow. It is best to tackle this one head-on, but not recklessly. Start small by paying off smaller debts first. The sense of fulfillment and gratification that comes with it will encourage you to keep moving forward. In order to do this effectively utilize a few of the other principles. Creating a budget, savings goal, and using technology can make managing debt much easier.
Fight the impulse to stop and remind yourself that you don’t need it. A great way to break yourself from the cycle of impulse buying is to declutter. Instead of having four different types of the same item, cut it back to one or maybe two. Simplifying our lives in this way gently reminds us that buying things won’t make us happy. This is also a great way to deal with pesky buyers’ remorse. Lastly, you can rest assured that it won’t contribute any more to debt.
Maybe you are saying to yourself that you need those four items. In some way, they are slightly different and you can’t part with any of them. If that is you then perhaps re-organizing your stuff. A clean environment is great for your mental health. The better you feel about yourself and your home the more you will want to be there. You may find that you start cooking more and you look forward to eating at home. Instead of going out with friends you might invite them over. Not only is it a good time, but you are saving money.
Take these 8 tips and use them. If you are looking for a simpler and happier life without the stress of personal finance than start small. Maybe that small step is cleaning your home or starting a budget. Whatever it may be, take the first step today.