Managing money can be a tedious task. Keeping a record of all your accounts, their pins, and passwords can be complicated at times. There is always a chance you forget your pin code during this hassle. Having disorderly finances can create stress too. On the contrary, managing your finances correctly can bring satisfaction and happiness that you might have been craving in the chaos. With the absence of proper control over your money management affairs, you might always find yourself at the brink of a financial cliff. According to a survey conducted in 2019, among ten adults, nine registered that they feel more confident when their finances are in order. This is because you never want to remain worried about money all the time.
Managing your finances may be overwhelming at the beginning. But things gradually become more straightforward when you get the hang of it and know how to do it. Once you know the right ways of doing things, you will see how it helps you focus on more imperative stuff in your life. If you intend to manage your finances in a modern way, here is what you can do to get on this bandwagon.
- Build An Emergency Cushion
Start with developing an online cushion. This is the fund that you create for your rainy days. You have to look for the options that pay the highest returns, so the money you are trying to save helps you in the long run. Digital or online banks generally offer a higher yield. You can find the best digital banks with a quick internet search. Make sure to check their ratings and what customers say about their services. The system is all online with no physical entity. The system should be such that a fixed amount automatically gets added to your digital account without you doing anything. This way, you won’t be lazy in depositing the money. It is prudent to have at a minimum a couple of months’ living expenses as the emergency cushion in your online bank.
- Understand Your Current Financial Situation
Start with an understanding of your current financial situation before you make any decision. It might be scary to take stock of where you stand financially. But you can’t plan the future until you know your present. Calculate the amount of outstanding debt (like personal loans) and other liabilities that are hurting your budget.
List down the expenses that are particularly making up a large part of your expenses. If they are part of luxury and not a necessity, they should be avoided during the crunch time until you get back to the right track of sound financial backing.
- Define Your Financial Goals
Managing your finances can be very tricky until you know what you want to achieve in the long and short run. Some of the expenses in your life are very urgent, and that cannot wait.
They are your long-term goals. Others have a deadline in the future that are important but not very urgent. So, you cannot prioritize your long-term goals over the short-term ones.
For instance, you have developed a fund to buy a new house, but you have three years to collect the money. Therefore, you cannot prioritize this fund over your outstanding rent that needs to be paid in a month. Once you are done with setting goals that are eminent, you can make separate funds for your long-term and interim goals.
- Develop A Budget
It is always possible to overspend in a month unless you know your budget. Your budget is the starting point that helps you be financially organized and reach your other goals.
However, make sure the budget you create is realistic and reasonably fulfills your monthly financial needs. A constrained budget will not help you meet even your basic needs, and it may seem like you are overspending.
The budget should consider your salary, any side gig or part-time job, and a list of all your expenses. This way, you know the incoming and outgoing money trails and have the complete picture in front of you.
- Take A Look At Your Finances Every Day
If you are depositing money in a bank, then you have the picture in front of you. You can check the remaining balance in your account where you deposit your monthly expense budget. Spending a few minutes every day to look at where you stand against your defined budget and expenses will help you be on track and make necessary changes. If you know the remaining money you have in a given month at all times, you can easily adjust the sudden expenses that you did not include in the initial calculation.
- Design A Debt Payment Plan
Debt payment can be a huge burden, and you cannot pay the debts unless you have a plan for it. Ad-hoc debt payments can hurt your budget and create stressful situations too. You have to include your debt payment in your designed budget to avoid cutting the necessary expenses to pay off this liability.
Handling your finances does not need to be a stressful job. If it is taken systematically, it can be a smooth process. Developing a budget and making a contingency plan for rainy days are essential elements that financially prevent finding yourself in the hot waters.