This article was written by Arpita Arya.
People often find it very difficult to stay on top of their finances. But managing your funds wisely and efficiently means not just saving money, but it also helps you keep resources, effort and even time.
You find that hard to believe? If you get resolved to that idea, then you just might be right. But wait a minute. Try to see things from a broader perspective and think about every aspect of your life.
How much money do you earn? How much do you spend? Do you effectively use your resources at your disposal? Do you have things lying around the house?
These are just some of the few questions that can help you reconsider the path that you need to take to stay financially healthy. If you are an employee and earn your income based on a regular salary, then it would be wise to take advantage of your company’s employee financial wellness programs.
Such programs are designed to help you stay on top of your finances by providing you with the best advice to stay financially healthy.
1. Plan ahead.
This is not about New Year’s resolutions or simple start-up light bulb moments. Seriously, planning is the best way to manage your finances. But while not everyone has the patience of foresight, it pays to know how you distribute your resources.
Start by making a checklist of things you do on a weekly or monthly basis. Allot a specified period for each general activity and what you plan to do in your spare time. Take note that many of these activities may entail some spending like planning a vacation, eating out or pampering yourself.
It may seem a bit daunting at first, but you will soon find it easy to do and help you keep track of where your money goes.
2. Create a budget.
Having a budget allows you keep tabs on your money. This is a more tedious process of breaking down your resources versus costs.
When you do your planning activities, make sure that you allocate a particular budget for it.
3. Spend smart.
Always be practical about spending. Do not fall prey to elaborate and attractive advertising. Take advantage of discount sales or price-off offers. These extravaganzas can help you save money of around 10% to as much as 50%- even higher.
Be prudent with your spending. If you need to do your groceries, make sure that you have a list of all the things you need. Without it, you can end up buying stuff you don’t need or food that will just stay in the fridge that gets spoiled and thrown out.
4. Pay off your loans.
This may be the hardest one yet, but remember that the more you ignore it, the more it will grow on you. It can damage your credit standing or worse; you could end up in debtor’s prison.
Reach out to the loan facility and try to offer an installment scheme that you feel you may be able to manage. It may cause you to give up on some of your other recreational or “feel good” spending. It pays a lot to free yourself from the stress and burden of unpaid loans.
5. Do not spend what you don’t have.
Always be mindful of your spending. Make it a rule to think twice about purchasing things on credit.
Due diligence on spending is always critical and crucial to maintaining good financial health. Use credit only as an alternative resource for your needs and do not make it a primary source of your regular spending activities.
Consider that money you do not have available is money that you need to find. If it isn’t included in your planning and budget, lay it down and consider it in the future. Do not take it out on a whim.
These tips may seem a bit difficult at first, but once you start working on it, you will eventually develop a habit of doing it regularly until it becomes second nature to you.
Always remember that to become financially healthy, you need to make the right choices in spending and saving money. You need to start somewhere, so start on doing these steps to tread the path to financial wellness.