At this time of the year, it’s always going to be natural that you want to focus on getting your life in order. There’s always something about the start of a new year (especially when it’s a brand-new decade too) that makes you want to get organized. For a lot of people, this applies to health and wellness. But it can also apply to different areas of your life, like finance. When it comes to finance, your mind may get a little bogged down. And that’s because it can be boring and confusing, and you may even not really want to deal with your financial situation. But, you should. Because the more control you can have over the finances, the better. And, at risk of sounding like a cliché, it’s always the new year that is a perfect time for you to do this.
With every new year, you often welcome a new sense of vitality. And when you feel refreshed and energized to take on the month(s) ahead, it’s the perfect time to get in shape. And, of course, here we mean in good financial shape. So right now, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can do to be more money savvy. That can involve learning to track your finances more efficiently and adopting more habits to be frugal. Let’s take a look.
Understand Your Finances
To start with, you’re going to want to make sure that you are able to understand your finances where they are right now. Because if you are going to be able to start tracking things correctly and make a change to your habits, you have to know where you’re at now. So go through your bills, know how much comes in and goes out, and understand how you like to spend.
Choose Your Tracking Method
The next thing that you need to do here, is for you to ensure that you are picking a way to track your finances that works well with how you actually work. Most of the time, you may need to track basic things like your bills. But if you need to record things like your miles per gallon or anything business-related, what you choose could be more important. So let’s take a look at some options below.
Create A Spreadsheet
To start with, you could create a spreadsheet for yourself. If you like the idea of manually tracking everything you spend (as a thing can help you be more accountable and have to look at it all daily or weekly), then setting up a spreadsheet could be perfect for you. Plus, there are templates available to get you started.
Use An App
Another option is to use an app. If you love the idea of things being done either automatically or at least in a more techy way, an app could help. And thanks to the modern world we live in, there is a full range of apps that you could choose from to help you to do this.
Something that you may find that can really help you to make your budget more effective is for you to have different budget categories. When you are managing your money, putting it all into groups helps you to work out not only how much to spend overall, but if you even need that bill or purchase altogether. But, the important thing is for you to ensure that you have categories that relate to your lifestyle, not just general categories.
But, one thing that you have to remember in this process, is to be strict with it. You can’t just create a spreadsheet or download a template or an app and just leave it at that. You have to be strict on monitoring what’s going on. And not only that, you’ll want to ensure that you’re being as strict as possible with your spending. If you are aiming to be more frugal, you have to commit to that and make sure that you’re cutting back in any way that you can.
But one thing that you really need to make sure that you do here, is actually check in with your budget and your spending on a regular basis. It could be weekly or monthly, but it needs to be done. If you want to be better with money, then it’s important for you to be aware of what’s going on with it. Then, you can make tweaks if you need to, going forward.
The next thing that is going to help you to not only manage your money better but also be more frugal, is for you to spend more consciously. It’s so easy to just swipe your card these days, and that can mean you spend money when you maybe didn’t really need to. But when you aim for conscious spending, it’s much easier for you to ensure that you are not overspending or spending wastefully.
Look For Better Deals
Something that can help you to be more frugal is the idea of hunting for deals. And not in the sense that you’ll snap up a deal just because it’s a deal, but in the way that you will look for a deal before getting something that you need. Sometimes, shopping around or switching your bills up can mean that you make big savings, rather than just sticking to what you’d usually do.
Spend In Line With Your Goals
Finally, something that you might also want to be aware of here, is that you should always make sure that you’re spending your money in line with your goals. If you want to invest in good food or travel – go for it, as long as they are your goals. Don’t just throw money away on takeout if you know you want to travel more. It’s always important to align your approach to money with your goals so that you actually get more use out of the money you make.