If you have found that your finances are getting a bit beyond your control, there are some methods that you can take that will lead to good money management. The following four methods can help get you off to a running start.
Stop Using Credit Cards
Credit cards can be very tempting. They are even more tempting when we are dry on cash and waiting for our next pay day. But those little charges add up quickly and fast. When you only pay the minimum payment due, you get tapped for interest fees quickly, too. A good rule of thumb here is to never, ever use your credit cards. Think along the lines of: if you can’t afford to buy it for cash now, then you can’t really afford it. Rather, make strides to pay down these cards as much as possible instead of adding to them.
Stop Eating Out
While it certainly may be tempting to go out with your friends, good money management says this is a bad idea. Eating out costs a lot more than eating in. And plenty of us are guilty of eating out too often. A quick look at your bank statement will reveal if you are eating out too much. Go ahead and highlight all of the charges for restaurants and coffee to-go, and you will quickly find that doing something as simple as staying in more often can save you thousands per year.
Know Your Equity
You may have some existing equity that you can use to pay off your debts and roll them into one more feasible monthly payment. If you own your own home or other property, you can consider refinancing it to pull some of the equity out. Mortgage rates are at all-time lows, and you could qualify to reduce your debt by paying it off with your existing equity for a lower interest long term loan that’s far easier to pay off.
Project Your Budget
Knowing what you have coming in versus what you have going out is incremental in you managing your money better. A good place to start is with creating a spreadsheet of all your bills versus incoming funds. This will tell you what you can afford to spend to pay down debt or spend on entertainment so you don’t overspend in the future.
See The Difference
A number of money management apps are out there, plenty of which are free to use. Certain premium features may remain locked on a few of these 15 money management apps listed by Life Hack. But they all still have decent functionality in the free versions. More importantly, they help you better manage your finances by enabling you to visualize where your funds are going so you can get a better grip on how you spend your greenbacks.