Both the expected and unexpected can cause our finances to spiral out of control. To earn money and then spend a bit more than anticipated on a trip, an unexpected emergency, or a health issue can throw even the best laid financial plans to the wind.
As hopeless as it may feel as we sink further into debt, there are several routes that won’t only take you out of debt, but help you grow your wealth.
In this post, we’ll look at how you can start:
Begin by Setting Financial Goals
Having some goals in mind will make it easier for you to do whatever is necessary to allow you to accomplish them. These goals will change as you progress through life—from tackling student debt to putting money into retirement savings to homeownership and so on—but having a goal will help guide you in making better financial decisions for your current and future self.
Create a Workable Budget
With one or more goals in mind, it’s time to put pen to paper and start putting together a weekly or monthly budget for yourself.
To create a budget, you’ll need a few key pieces of information including:
- Living costs (mortgage/rent, utilities, and other fixed expenses)
- Household bills (cable, smartphone, groceries, etc.)
- Financial products (life insurance, car insurance, home/rental insurance, etc.)
- Travel costs (gas, bus fare, metro fare, etc.)
- Family and friends (gifts)
- Leisure expenses (holidays, dining out, hobbies, gym memberships, etc.)
What you’re looking for is how much you earn and how much you’re spending on a monthly basis on the above items. You can use a spreadsheet for calculations, and there are also several free budgeting websites and apps you can use to help you determine if you’re overspending, underspending (and just not saving your money in the best way possible) or if you’re breaking even.
When you begin to scrutinize how much you’re paying for these items, you’ll likely discover that there are ways you can save. Which leads us to our next point:
Negotiate Your Expenses
In life, there are some fixed expenses (like mortgage/rent) that are more often than not non-negotiable. But there are a lot of negotiables out there if you’re willing to put the work in.
Let’s take insurance, for example. One simple phone call can lead to substantial savings in any type of insurance, particularly a car and home insurance.
Then there are cable and smartphone bills. If you don’t even watch cable and rely largely on other services (like Netflix), why not reduce the number of channels you pay for or get rid of it altogether? Chances are you can also negotiate a better rate for your smartphone if you take a minute to investigate what others are offering, and if you are able to bundle services with the same provider (like your phone, cable, and more) you are going to save more.
Control Your Debt
Debt can seem like an endless cycle, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several debt counseling services available (many of which are free!) and a quick visit with a trusted financial institution can help you obtain a lower or even zero interest rate credit line for a specific period of time, making the repayment of debts easier and less expensive.
While paying down your debts, it’s equally important to stop accruing further debt. As long as you have a financial plan and stick to a budget, this will be an easier task to accomplish.
Plan Your Menu
We waste a lot of money simply because we choose to eat out as opposed to cooking at home. Yes, we’re stressed and pressed for time. But putting together a menu of doable twenty-minute weekday meals will put a lot more money in your pocket.
Many financial advisors suggest not planning your menu on a weekly basis, but rather on a monthly basis. This makes shopping in bulk a lot easier (and cheaper!) and you can then cook and prepare foods in batches. You will waste less food and you will always have the promise of a hot meal waiting for you with little effort.
Invest Money to Earn Money
Once you begin saving money, you can start to invest money. No amount is too small, and you can easily invest online twenty-four hours a day to begin to make money off of your hard-earned cash.
There are several ways to invest, and leading investors prefer to invest online. P2P lending is one of the most popular ways to invest online because it not only leads to greater returns than traditional investments, it also supports local businesses and entrepreneurs. To learn more about how you can grow your wealth with P2P lending, we welcome you to contact us at [email protected].