It’s always a good idea to have a financially healthy present (and future). However, for most people it seems like a chore rather than anything else. But what if you lived life knowing that you’ll be OK when it comes to finances?
We’ll be taking a look at five tips that you can take to heart so you can be able to optimize your financial health and live a worry-free life when it comes to money. Whether you have a steady income or you’re just trying to get by, these tips apply to everyone who wants to keep their financial house in order.
The truth is there are a lot of people who are careless with money. It doesn’t matter if you have $20 or $20 million in your account, $15 can still buy you a pizza. With that in mind, let’s dive right in with our first tip on how you can achieve optimal financial health.
1. Make a budget and stick with it
The number one tip on our list could not be any more straightforward. It’s always a good idea to plan your budget so you have a good idea of how much you need to spend on what. How much should you spend on food, housing, miscellaneous items, and so on?
A lot of people don’t even consider the idea of doing a budget. They’ll spend money on whatever and not think about the other things that are important. It’s fine to spend some money on other things, but sometimes you need to keep in mind that the rent will always be due at the end of the month.
The way you need to set up your budget is simple. You need to know what your income is and where it’s coming from. Then you’ll need to know what your expenses are.
Your necessary expenses include how much you pay for your mortgage or rent, your groceries, utilities, and other essential expenses. Anything that is outside of that realm should be marked as miscellaneous. If you have a budget, please stick with it and stay within your means.
It might be OK to go slightly over budget, but a marginal amount will be acceptable. However, don’t make it a habit of going over if you can help it. Or better yet, you’re better off not going over budget at all.
2. Watch yourself
This is something that people will have a difficult time doing. Watching your spending is a skill that you can possess over the majority of people who are trying to maintain their finances. The better you watch your spending, the better off you’ll be in terms of your financial future.
This ties into the previous tip in terms of budgeting yourself. Check to see if you’re making sure you are within your budget. Plus, you want to try and avoid as much as possible in terms of spending over it.
Find a magic number that you need to stay below depending on your financial situation. Also, come up with a price that you don’t want to spend over. For example, let’s say that you don’t want to spend any higher than $25 at a restaurant (for one meal). If you see something you like and it’s $26, you may want to consider alternative options that are lower than your limit.
Yes, it’s a pain in the butt trying to say no to things you want, but your wallet will thank you sooner or later. Plus, you never know if there could be something else that will be way better at a price that you can actually pay for.
3. Automatic savings
Aside from watching your spending and planning a budget, saving money can be a hard thing to do as well. Automation is all the rage these days. So if there is something you’re having a hard time doing, consider automating it.
Saving money can be automated, but how do you go about doing it? You can make arrangements to where a percentage of your paycheck can be taken out and put in your savings account. Or you can have it automatically transferred to something like a savings account or your retirement fund.
Regardless, find a way to have part of your paycheck automatically transferred to some kind of savings account to where you can access it when needed (i.e. — retirement, emergency expenses, etc.).
4. Kill an expense
This is the only thing you can kill and likely get away with it. It’s an unwanted expense. The object here is to find an expense that is sucking the life out of you financially every month.
If the expense is something that is useless, get rid of it. For example, if you are spending $12.99 a month on Netflix and never use it, axe it. The same goes for other subscriptions you may have but don’t take advantage of.
Also, you may want to consider the idea of eliminating everyday expenses that might be draining the life out of your bank account and not even know it. Find out what that is and make the determination to get rid of it so you can save money. The best things are hard to let go, but again your wallet will thank you in the end.
5. Embrace the “no”
Of course, as we’ve mentioned before…it’s really hard to say no. Especially to something that you’ve been dying to try out. Sometimes, “no” is temporary because you simply cannot afford it.
Oftentimes, “no” can be for good because it’s an expense that will not be worth spending because it goes towards something that isn’t useful. If you see something you like, but the price is out of range, you better be saying “no” rather than “eh, whatever”. “No” doesn’t always mean the end of the world. It can take a lot of willpower and discipline, but that will pay off in the end when you one day enjoy the fruits of your sacrifices.
If you are planning on having a financially healthy future, use the five tips listed above. Taking your finances seriously is something that you should be able to do while the others continue to carelessly spend money without ever thinking about saving it for the future. Learning to manage your own budget, expenses and debts will give you a sense of control over your life that you will not want to ever lose again. The more financially conscious you are, the better your financial health will be.