There cannot be a hundred thousand dollars in your back account overnight so you have to start somewhere. According to a recent survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, less than half of Americans keep track of their spending habits, not to mention that less than a third are saving for retirement, so there is plenty of room for improvement. If you want to make a change in your life and start to improve your finances right away, there are many ways you can act now.
Create a Budget
With nearly half of Americans without a budget, this would be a great place to start. First take the amount of money coming in each month, subtract the necessary monthly expenses such as the mortgage, car payment, and utility bills and see how much is left over. Allocate yourself money for food, gas, and upcoming events where you know it will cost money.
Remove Unnecessary Spending
Next review everything you spent the previous month and start circling expenses that you could have done without and see what the total savings could have been. Eating out is one area that you can easily remove, and with your allocated money for grocery shopping, you should have enough food stocked for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that you will not need to eat out as much, except for a nice weekend out on the town.
Free Up Extra Money
Look at ways to reduce monthly bills such as a different cell phone carrier, cable company, or insurance provider that could free up extra money each month in savings. Take a look at items around your house that could be sold or donated (and written off, seeing the savings when you file your taxes) and take the profits to treat your family. It’s not just about saving money, it’s also about using that disposable income to invest for a secure future. Consider investing in dividend stocks, these are all important steps to saving for eventual retirement.
Once you figure out how much is leftover each paycheck or each month you can decide how much to contribute to retirement/savings account. Set up a direct deposit so that you do not have to manually move money over, giving the temptation to spend instead of save.
Watch Money Grow
Being financially responsible takes patience and discipline, so once you have your budget tweaked and accurate after a couple months of it being in progress, you should be having more money leftover instead of going out and you should start to see your bank account rise.