The modern-day lifestyle can be overwhelming. The world is so fast-paced that we’re told everything is a priority. Your health is a priority, your work is a priority, your family is a priority, and so on. This might be why you’ve never found the time to prioritize your finances. As long as you earn a decent wage then you’re fine, right? Well, that depends on how fiscally responsible you are. You need to focus not only on making money but spending and saving it sensibly. It’s time to start making your finances a priority, and here’s how to do so.
Put your essential expenditures first.
If you want to prioritize your money in life then you need to start taking your finances seriously. Think about your essential expenditures before anything else. It’s easy to get too comfortable with a nice salary and forget just how much everything in life actually costs. That’s why you need to keep a monthly budget so that you can keep on top of everything. Track each of your expenditures, and work out how much money you actually need to spend on the essentials every month. Do you know how much you actually spend in an average month once you’ve added up the cost of rent, your energy bill, food, and even gas for the car? It’s time to start keeping track of these expenses so that you ensure you always put aside enough money for necessities before you think about non-essential purchases.
Of course, your excess income isn’t just pocket money. You might be tempted to splurge on luxury expenditures once you’ve got all the essential bills out of the way, but you also need to prioritize any outstanding payments or debts that you’ve been putting to one side. Put all of your excess cash towards paying off those debts or bills before you think about luxury expenses. You’ll still be able to buy a nice new TV a few months down the line, but the interest on your debt will keep increasing if you put luxury purchases first. It’ll cost you more money in the long run. To put it simply, it’s important that you keep track of your monthly expenditures so that you’re aware of your available income. If you know that you can afford luxuries after covering your necessary costs then that’s fine. Just make sure that you always check the budget first.
Think about your income.
If the problem lies with your source of income then you might want to seek new opportunities. The job market isn’t in the best shape right now, but there are other opportunities out there for determined and entrepreneurial individuals. You could work online in your free time and sell services on freelance sites such as Fiverr. There’s money to be made on the internet. Alternatively, you could improve your current career by returning to education and getting a better qualification. You could look into the best online college for military veterans if you were denied a full education because you served your country. There are educational opportunities for everyone if you know where to look, and getting a higher qualification could be a chance to earn a better wage in your future career.
Set aside 15% of your earnings.
We talked about the importance of looking your excess cash in this article. Assuming that you’re not dealing with debt or outstanding bills, you need to make it your goal to save 15% of your earnings every payday. Set up an automatic transfer so that the money goes into your savings account before you’re tempted to spend it. This is a smart way to guarantee that you not only have money for the future (e.g. retirement or your kid’s college fund) but that you have an emergency fund for a rainy day. If you do ever accumulate debt or some unexpected medical bill then you can turn to your savings. Additionally, you’ll have less money in your bank account if you set some of it aside on a regular basis. This will force you to be fiscally responsible, and that’s never a bad thing.