Do you like broccoli? The problem is you like it sometimes, like when that one restaurant cooks it in that unique way. If you could have their broccoli every night, you’d happily eat it. Unfortunately, most of us do not eat broccoli. We know that it’s good for us and we even know that there are delicious ways to make it so that we enjoy eating it. But at the end of the day, a burger place charges way less than a place that serves the best broccoli you’ve ever eated and the best broccoli you’ve ever eaten is not even going to come close to a burger.
This is the same issue we face with our finances. At the end of the day we know what’s best for them, we know what we need to do to make improvements, but we simply choose not too becaus there are some difficulties as well as the fact that it’s just easier and more enjoyable to not focus on getting our finances in order.
How Our Finances Get Crazy
The truth is that most people are shocked to learn that they are having financial issues. Why is this? Because they created the issues themselves, especially with the ease of spending money. It has never been easier to spend money than it is now. Asking for our credit card information may actually cost you a sale. If our credit card is not saved in a company’s info, we are not shopping with them, especially online. It is this demand for simplicity that has caused many of us to lose track of our expenses.
How To Fix Your Finances
Sometimes we are so focused on areas of our lives or even our work that we do not even focus on our finances as a whole. A common example of this is people who work in the medical field. While they are making solid money, they struggle sometimes to get a head financially because of student loans as well as other debt. While we all do not work in that field, there are things we should do in order to improve our financial situation for next year:
- Make more money: Why not start with the most obvious but also the most important. If you can increase your income, you can have more financial flexibility. While this may mean working more, working smarter may also be the key. Just a couple hours of delivering groceries may make you an extra $20, but if you do that enough during the month, you literally can cover your car payment and only add 10 hours a week to your schedule.
- Make a long list: You need to understand where your money is going and how the flow can be slowed down. You cannot know where to make cuts until you have a list of the money’s flow each month and why it goes to these places. Some expenses cannot be messed with, but until you see how things are set up, you cannot decide how best to move forward.
- Focus on your debt: If you are stuck because of debt, especially credit card debt or something else with high interest rates, you may want to look into taking out a personal loan. These types of loans usually have lower requirements and allow you to pay off higher interest rate debt faster, saving you big.
- Cut expenses: Now that you have an idea of where the money is going each month, you can start making cuts. If you have five streaming services, try watching only one or two a month. This will save you $30 a month alone and you can get through more content on the apps that you are using this month.
- Change shopping habits: When do you shop for groceries? Do you look at coupons or when things are on sale? This is a process that you need to learn and you can do it all from your phone in most cases. Learning to utilize apps, buying in bulk or when things are on sale and so forth can literally save you thousands a year.
- Moderation is key: If you are struggling financially and you need to look for ways to improve it, perhaps you need to cut back on going out whether it’s to a bar for drinks, to a restaurant or something else. If you are spending too much here, it’s important to know to cut back and focus on saving.
- Compromise saves money: While you do want to enjoy yourself, you also need to think about how to compromise. For example, the restaurant you love going to makes the best burgers and chicken wings. You and your friends can make chicken wings at your home and buy the drinks from the grocery store. You will have more of both for half the price in many cases.
- Use that big television: It’s funny how well our homes are set up now for us to watch movies and television all day and we rarely turn them on. Yes, we are free from being stuck inside because of the pandemic but that doesn’t mean a movie night is a bad idea, especially if it’s at home. Yes, the latest big movie is in theaters but you can wait three months and instead watch a movie on streaming that you’ve been meaning to see for years.
- Set a savings goal: Aside from paying off debt sooner, you should always have a savings goal. It doesn’t matter if it’s $50 a month, saving anything is smart.
- Setup retirement: Be sure to not overlook retirement benefits in the short and long term. In the long term, you are able to save for your retirement. However, for right now, you may enjoy some additional tax breaks that help you to save or invest more in your retirement.
You should never overlook the importance of making even a small change to your finances. The smallest changes have ended up making significant differences over a lengthy period of time. However, you need to develop a strategy on how to make these improvements. That begins with taking a real look at how your money is earned and spent.