When it comes to personal finance, it’s easy for things to go south. For some, all it takes is one shopping spree on credit to cause years of damage. For others, simply not being aware of what money is coming in and going out can make them miss out on some major savings. The good thing is that it’s never too late to get your finances back on track! The CGS Team is sharing 8 ways to help you get your finances in check and start making some major financial traction.
Ways to Get Your Finances in Check…
#1 Get Committed
The thing about saving money is that it’s extremely easy to WANT to do, but not so easy to stay committed to. When you make the decision to get your finances in check, commit to that decision. Be ready to stay disciplined and follow through.
#2 Set a Budget and Stick to It
The CGS Team can never stress enough the importance of having a budget. In its simplest form, a budget shows you what money you have and what money you are spending. Get your current finances on paper. Once you see what you are working with, you can start establishing goals and cutting back to reach those goals. CGS Founder Raya specializes in setting up our clients on budgets that help them reach their goals.
#3 View Your Credit Report
You can be saving all the money in the world, but if there’s something wrong with your credit report, you could get hit with major interest. Every single person is entitled to one free credit report pull each year. Take advantage and monitor your credit report for errors.
If there’s an account that doesn’t belong or a payment showing late, you will never know unless you view your credit report. Visit Annual Credit Report to get your free copy.
#4 Start Contributing to a 401k
If there’s one thing you need to do when it comes to finances, it’s contribute to a 401k plan or IRA. Most employers offer 401k plans to their employees and even match up to a certain percentage. If you are not taking advantage of this benefit, start immediately. Literally.
Leave this website and call your HR rep to start contributing! If you are a contractor or your employer doesn’t offer a 401k plan, open up an IRA and contribute that way.
#5 Ask for Help
It’s easy to feel ashamed, guilty or embarrassed about your finances, but don’t let that stop you from asking for help. Haven’t been paying your credit cards lately? Contact your credit card companies and ask if you can work out some sort of repayment plan. When they know you are making an effort to pay, they may be willing to help.
You can also ask the CGS Team for help! We have a designated financial consultant to help clients start forming better financial habits. Need help? Schedule your free consultation with CGS Founder Raya!
#6 Set up a Financial Filing System
Your finances will feel much more in check when you’re organized. Get yourself set up on a financial filing system to keep track of all your important financial documents. Never lose a receipt, statement, or approval letter again! Check out the article How to Set Up a Financial Filing System to learn how to get started.
#7 Start with Major Financial Goals
Once you have completed the steps above, start knocking out major financial goals. Things like paying off debt, establishing an emergency fund, and saving for a down payment should take precedent over shopping, vacations, and other non-necessity spending. Make it a point to pay off your high interest debt, like credit cards, first.
Interest can cost you so much in the long run. Also, start contributing to an emergency savings account. If your car breaks down, or you lose your job, you will be thankful that you have a savings to help ease the financial burden.
#8 Automate, Automate, Automate
Wouldn’t your life be easier knowing that you will never be late on a payment again? Most banks and bill collectors offer automatic bill pay! Get yourself set up on automatic bill payments so you can ensure your bills are always paid on time. Also, start automating your savings.
Have a certain amount of your paycheck direct deposited into a savings account that you never touch. If it comes out of your paycheck, you won’t miss it. You also won’t have to worry about spending the money before saving it.
Getting your finances in check definitely takes some motivation! Keep your eyes on the prize and always remember your end goal when you find yourself torn between spending of saving. What have you done to take control of your finances? What are your current financial goals? Reply with a comment below and share your thoughts! We want to know what is working (or not working) for CGS members!