Learn how to save money, manage your finances and invest. Get 50 personal finance tips to help you reach your financial goals.
50 Personal Finance Tips: Personal finance can be the most confusing thing in the world to wrap your head around. There are so many strategies, tips, and tricks floating around out there that it’s hard to know what’s relevant and what isn’t.
50 Personal Finance Tips That Will Change The Way You Think About Money
A lot of people also aren’t quite sure how to make sense of it all when they do find something that could work for them. Personal finance may not be easy, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming either.
Create a Financial Calendar
If you want to be financially successful, you must manage your money wisely. Set up a financial calendar to make sure that you’re keeping track of all payments and events related to your finances. Your calendar should include such information as when bills are due, how much is owed, and whether or not deposits need to be made into certain accounts at specific times of the year. On top of that, try to put together a budget based on anticipated income and expenses.
Check Your Interest Rate
Before you apply for a new loan or credit card, check with your current bank and see if they can offer you a better deal. If so, compare rates to see if switching is worthwhile. Keep in mind that interest rates tend to increase during times of high demand, like when you’re shopping for a mortgage. Rates are also typically higher on personal loans than mortgages or car loans.
Track Your Net Worth
One of your most valuable tools for personal finance success is tracking your net worth. Net worth refers to what you own minus what you owe. Calculating your net worth regularly will enable you to see how effective your financial habits are and where they need improvement.
If you have a positive net worth, that’s great! But if not, it might be time to reassess some things. For example, are you spending too much on housing? Are you investing enough in retirement? How about credit card debt? Tracking your net worth can help keep you accountable. It can also serve as an early warning system when something starts going wrong with your finances.
For example, if you notice that your net worth has been decreasing steadily over several months or years, it could mean that there’s a problem with one of your investments or debts—or even with one of your major expenses like housing or transportation. Keeping track of all these details can help you pinpoint potential trouble spots before they become serious problems—and help put them right before they get out of hand.
Set a Budget, Period
You can track your spending in a variety of ways, including with cash and credit cards. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re honest about how much you’re spending and where your money is going each month. If you don’t know what your monthly budget should be, start by figuring out how much income you have coming in every month (your take-home pay after taxes).
Then subtract fixed expenses like rent or mortgage payments, car payments, or insurance premiums. Next add up all of your variable expenses—things like groceries, gas for your car, and utilities—and divide that number by 12 to get an average monthly cost.
Subtract that number from your total income to figure out what percentage of every dollar you have leftover to spend on whatever else strikes your fancy. The remaining amount will become your budgeted amount for discretionary spending—the part of your income that isn’t required for necessities but will fund everything from entertainment to vacations.
Consider an All-Cash Diet
If you’re a big spender, living entirely on cash could help you rein in your spending. Imagine how much money you’d be able to save when there’s no room for impulse buys! Plus, it can be easier to track your budget with cold hard cash than with credit cards or checks.
Keep in mind that using all-cash isn’t something everyone can do—especially if you don’t have easy access to an ATM or bank branch near where you live or work. And if you do use all-cash, keep some funds available in case of emergencies (like losing your wallet). You might also want to consider keeping some emergency savings set aside as well as an emergency fund.
Take a Daily Money Minute
According to a recent study, three in 10 people can’t tell you where their money goes. If you don’t have a clear picture of your cash flow, it’s nearly impossible to manage it properly. Try taking 60 seconds every day and jotting down how much money came in and where it went (you might want to use an old-fashioned notebook).
You may be surprised by what you learn! For example, if you pay $200 per month for cable TV but only watch two channels, consider canceling or scaling back. You could save $40 per month—or more—and put that toward something else like retirement savings or paying off debt faster.
There are many ways to quit smoking, but you’ll likely need help to be successful. Find support by talking with family members or friends. Consider enrolling in a support group and attending meetings regularly. While these can cost money, they can also save you money in smoking-related health care costs.
You may want to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as gum or patches when quitting so that you don’t experience withdrawal symptoms such as cravings and mood swings. It’s best to ask your doctor if NRT is right for you before purchasing it at a store or pharmacy.
Avoid Interest Payments (Pay off your credit cards)
If you have debt on your credit cards, pay them off as soon as possible. Interest payments add up quickly and can be a huge drain on your finances. It’s much better to take advantage of 0% interest offers when they are available. You should also look into balance transfer offers that allow you to move balances from one card to another at lower rates.
Draft a Financial Vision Board
Vision boards are a great way to visualize your future, so why not do one with financial goals in mind? You can literally draw anything you want on a piece of poster board, and it will help to keep you motivated. If you want money for a vacation, include that on your vision board. If you want money for a house or car (that’s off-limits!), include that too.
Set Specific Financial Goals
You can’t get ahead if you don’t know where you want to go. That goes for saving and investing as well. Set a specific savings goal, such as saving up for a vacation, replacing your car, or buying a house. Knowing exactly what you want will give you something to work toward and a sense of accomplishment when you finally reach it.
And if your investment portfolio is in need of some fine-tuning, make sure to figure out your long-term financial goals so that you can develop an investment strategy that fits within those parameters.
Adopt a Spending Mantra
The idea of spending money on a cup of coffee doesn’t bother you as much when you view it as an opportunity to work toward your long-term financial goals. It can be difficult to get into that mindset, but once you do, it becomes easier and easier over time.
One of my favorite quotes is Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. Here are some tips to keep you healthy and save you some dollars at the same time 1) Get a physical every year, 2) Drink plenty of water, 3) Exercise regularly, 4) Eat a balanced diet (avoid processed foods), 5) Don’t smoke,
6) Limit alcohol consumption, 7) Sleep well (7-8 hours per night), 8 ) Don’t eat too much sugar or caffeine. If you do these things, not only will you feel better physically but also mentally and emotionally! And that means you can make better decisions with your money!
Make Bite-Size Money Goals
Be more specific about your money goals. Say I want to save $10,000 for a new car rather than I want to save some money for a rainy day. Break up big goals into smaller ones and assign deadlines. This makes your task seem less overwhelming and much more attainable. You will see results much faster!
Having a clear goal in mind can also make it easier to decide how you are going to reach that goal. For example, if you need to save $10,000 dollars for a new car but don’t have enough money in your savings account right now, you could choose between finding a part-time job or asking friends and family members for help. Which one do you think would be easier?
Banish Toxic Money Thoughts
A lot of people have money issues. It’s not a character flaw or a sign of personal failure. But it is a good idea to banish toxic thoughts that aren’t serving you well and keep them from dragging you down—as I’ll never be able to save enough for retirement! or I don’t earn enough so I can never afford _________. Remember, time is on your side. Your twenties are a great time to start saving for retirement (if you haven’t already).
But even if you’re in your thirties or older, there are still plenty of opportunities available to help boost your savings. And with compound interest working in your favor, every year counts! The same goes for any big purchases—you may think they’re out of reach now, but remember: small sacrifices today will lead to huge gains tomorrow.
Get Your Finances–and Body—in Shape
If your waistline is thicker than your wallet, then it’s time to get fit, and not just because you’re feeling sluggish in your work clothes. Studies show that those who feel better about their financial situation are more likely to be successful in their careers.
A well-rounded workout program also increases energy levels and keeps you motivated when it comes to reaching goals. To put both your body and finances in shape, try setting some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) targets for yourself for losing weight and increasing your cash flow.
At Green Energy Financial Group®, we know how important it is to have everything under control financially so you can focus on doing what you love: taking care of your family—now and in future generations.
Also Read: 10 Financial Tips For Young Adults
Personal finance can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are fifty quick tips to help you manage your money in 2017 and beyond. The goal is not only to save you time and energy but also to get you thinking about what matters most to you in your financial life.
This list isn’t exhaustive; there is so much more that we could have added. We know it may take a while before they all sink in, but if these tips are applied properly over time, they could really change your finances for good!