While financial hardship is inevitable for many, there are some habits that we can build to better prepare and not stress about money as much. These are five tips that anyone can do to save money and feel better about their finances.
Tip #1: Put money in your savings first
Have you ever gone on a bit of a spending spree after payday and then felt the crunch of not having any money in your savings when you needed it? One of the easiest habits to start is putting money in your savings on payday, then spending after that. When the money is already in your savings, you’ll be less tempted to spend it, and can build yourself a nest egg for when you need it most.
Tip #2: Make a budget
There are so many apps and programs available to help you make a budget. Or you can stick to the classic spreadsheet or notepad. Some people simply carry around a notebook and write down everything they buy to keep track. Whatever you do, make sure you create a reasonable and manageable budget that lets you live the life you want and prepare for the future.
Tip #3: Give yourself a break
The “reasonable and manageable” part of budget building is essential. If you spend too much on eating out, cutting it to $0 in your budget is only setting you up for failure. Instead, really consider what makes sense for your lifestyle and make the budget that way. Then, you can still enjoy yourself and not feel disappointed when you fail to meet impossible goals.
Tip #4: Clear out your credit cards
Credit card debt is some of the worst debt due to high interest rates. If you want to build a good habit, start with paying off your credit card almost immediately after you use it. It’s the best way to avoid interest while still building credit.
Tip #5: Start looking at retirement
In building a retirement savings plan, every little bit helps. The earlier you start, the better, but don’t delay just because you can’t contribute a lot right now. Instead, start with little, regular amounts that you can manage. Then you will have a great base to build on in the future when you can put more into your retirement plan.