When your money controls you, you feel it. You’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’re feeling guilty about purchases for yourself, and you’re drowning in debt. On the other hand, when you control your own money, you feel in charge. You can feel confident about personal splurges, you have a savings account that keeps growing, and your debt is under control. But how do you get there?
The CGS Team is sharing 5 money moves to start implementing immediately to become financially in charge. When you’re in charge, you’re in control and can make the best financial decisions.
Money Move #1: Create a Budget to Know Your Money
How on earth can you control your money if you don’t know where it’s going? A budget allows you to track your income, expenses and debts on a monthly (weekly or bi-weekly) basis to see exactly what is coming in and what is going out. In order to take charge of your finances, you need to know what they are.
Start by writing out your income, and then write out your bills and living expenses. Do you make more than you spend? If the answer is no, it’s time to make some changes. Next, factor in your fun spending. Do you spend more than you make, now? Again, time for change.
Money Move #2: Start an Emergency Fund
Once you have a detailed budget, you can see what should be cut back to help you start saving for an emergency fund. Even if it’s as little as $25/month, putting something away consistently will help you feel more in control of your finances. When an emergency or unexpected expense comes up, you can rest a little easier because you know you have some funds already reserved for such a nuisance. Read How to Successfully Build an Emergency Fund for a few tips.
Money Move #3: Create a Plan to Eliminate Debt
You may not be able to get rid of your debt overnight, but if you have a plan that shows you there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you will certainly feel better financially. There are plenty of debt payoff calculators out there to help you see where your payments will take you.
Once you know what you can afford to put towards your debts, start tracking it. Consider the Savvy Saving Woman’s Debt Reduction Kit which comes with a guide to paying off your debts and downloadable templates to help you stay up to date with your payments!
Money Move #4: Start Investing Small
After you’ve created a budget, saved for an emergency, and built a solid game plan to eliminate your debt, your next financially in-charge move is to start investing. There are plenty of awesome apps like Betterment, Stash and Acorn to help you invest small amounts of money.
You will feel so much better about your situation if you take advantage of one of these services. Like we mentioned earlier, even $25/month into your investment account can have a big impact over time.
Money Move #5: Set Your Financial Goals
What do you want out of life? Do you want to travel? Own a home? When you actually take the time to set your financial goals and understand what’s important to you and your well-being, you can start planning! How can you achieve something if you don’t know what it is?
Start thinking about your financial goals and when you want to achieve them. Next, make a list of what you can do to achieve those goals. Just the simple act of setting financial goals will help keep you focused and feeling in charge!
Sometimes it’s definitely easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act. Anything worth having never seems to come easy, however the sooner you start, the easier it will get. What money moves have you done so far? How do you feel about your situation after completing some of the money moves listed above? Post a reply below to share!