Managing your finances is a tough task by nature, but during a time of such uncertainty and economic instability, it can feel downright overwhelming. But whether or not the world is in a period of crisis, there are a few timeless tips you can use to better manage your money.
In this post, we’ll be sharing three ways you can regulate your finances—from tweaking your budget to looking for growth opportunities, we’re here to help make this daunting task a little more doable.
1. Tailor your budget
One of the biggest personal finance myths is that your budget is a set-it and forget-it tool. The reality is your life is in a constant state of change. From increases in income to job loss and modified expenses, there are so many factors that change how much money you have in the bank. That’s why it’s so important to tweak and tailor your budget regularly. But how often do you need to take inventory, and what should you look at?
A good rule of thumb is to look at your budget if your income or expenses have significantly changed. If you got a promotion, received a pay cut, or moved to a pricier rental, it is time to take a look at your finances. But even if your finances haven’t changed much, you should still do a check-in every few months or so.
So, what should you look for when updating your budget? You can start by making a list of all your income and expenses. Do your best to estimate the variable ones that change month after month. Then, factor in any savings or investments, such as a 401(k) fund that you contribute to. Once you finish, you should have a good idea of what’s left in your budget. You might also know how much you’ll need to cut back to make ends meet or move the needle on your goals.
2. Shop around for the best of the best
Another way you can optimize your finances is by constantly looking out for the best deal. Whether you’re shopping for groceries or a home loan, it’s important to keep your financial interests at the forefront of your mind. Scoping the best deal on the shelves is relatively simple. just look for sale prices and coupons that can increase your savings! Financing, on the other hand, requires a bit more finesse.
Here are a few key takeaways to help you out:
- Work on your credit score: A good credit score will work in your favor when negotiating loan terms. Lenders will be much more apt to give a low-interest rate to someone with a reliable financial history than someone on the opposite spectrum.
- Compare loan types: Every lender and loan type has its unique requirements, benefits, and drawbacks, so it’s worth looking at all angles so that you can find the best solution for your needs. Reverse mortgage interest rates may be more or less affordable than a home equity loan depending on your situation, so homeowners should take the time to weigh the pros and cons of their options before moving forward.
- Keep your payment history positive: There are many reasons why it’s important to maintain a good payment history. In essence, it’s tied to your credit. Late payments can incur late fees, and it will almost certainly affect your eligibility for lines of credit later on.
3. Review extra expenses
There are several “big steps” you can take to get a better grip on your money management. There are also plenty of easy things you can do to cut back on costs that have a substantial impact on your finances. Since we’ve become so reliant on technology, many of our bills are processed automatically. Automatic billing is undeniably convenient, but it also creates a mental disconnect between ourselves and our bank accounts. You could be charged for subscriptions you no longer use or need anymore. By using a subscription cancellation tool, you can optimize your spending and make more room in your budget with minimal effort.
Regulating your finances can feel like a big to-do, but with these three tips, it’s much more manageable!
Meet the Author
Holly is a Los Angeles-based health and wellness writer who helps readers make positive changes both physically and mentally. Her insightful content about healthy living, delicious recipes, and mental acuity is for every type of reader. Years of experience as a wellness guru and numerous dietitian courses have given Holly valuable insights and strategies that she can use to help boost the accuracy and relevance of your health-related blog.