Do you feel like you need to make changes? Is your budget just not working out? You might not feel comfortable with your income and expenses, or be unsure how to approach money. If you need a change, here are some questions that can help you get on track and find your way.
Where Am I?
Evaluating where you currently stand is essential before any other financial steps that you are considering. Even on a small scale, this is true; how would you compare car insurance rates without first evaluating what type of car insurance you need? Take the following points to get you started:
- What is your debt situation? Take a look at your debt-to-income ratio, how your debt is spread out (i.e. in credit cards or personal loans, at a variety of interest rates?), and so forth.
- Consider your savings goals. Do you have certain financial goals that you wish to meet? Are you on target to meet them?
- How do you organize everything? Do you have an efficient system for keeping your budget, accounts, and important documents in order?
Note that some ways to improve your finances are complementary to one another. In the last point above, simply changing the way you budget can help you get more organized, and in turn, produce financial results.
What Do I Do First?
Rome wasn’t built in a day. While it might take time to conquer debt and get a truly comfortable hold on your finances, there are always ways to take small steps to your goals. There is one tip that doesn’t involve anything special: it begins with your budget. Once you start devising your budget, take a step-by-step look at your finances and where there is an opportunity to save money. By keeping up to date with your insurance options, credit card choices, and your general living expenses, you can take a systematic approach to manage your money.
Look at your familiar problem areas, and also any that you haven’t addressed in some time. If you haven’t, for instance, taken the time to compare car insurance rates in the past –or just haven’t done it recently– then perhaps there’s an opportunity to find a lower premium if you look around. From saving to investing money, you might be able to identify relatively simple ways to help right your financial ship, so to speak.
“Can I Do That Myself?”
Yes, you usually can! It’s often a matter of motivation. Some poor personal finance habits are caused by a lack of financial know-how. Maybe disorganization and poor memory are to blame, in part or in full, for other financial woes. Both these problems can be remedied if you apply yourself to pick up the skills you need. Consistency and motivation make up one of the most important dynamic tandems in personal finance. Keeping yourself on track and moving forward is very important for success.
Spend some time on a complete overhaul of your finances. Look at ways to save money, get out of debt, and make your money work for you with term deposits or other savings and investments. At the end of the day, your success will come down to organization and execution. You need to stay motivated and consistent, and simply keep working toward your goals one step at a time.
What will it take to improve your finances? Whether you think you need an extra job or just a tweak to your budgeting methods, what needs to change? Start asking yourself some financial questions to figure out your way forward.
This article is by personal finance blogger Brian Neese, who shares his car insurance comparison tips and term deposit rates updates online to help ordinary people save and make money.