Maybe you are tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Or perhaps your credit card balance is higher than you want it to be. Or maybe you are bothered by your lack of savings and the knowledge that if you lost your job, you would quickly run out of money.
No matter your motivation, you are more than ready to take serious control of your family’s finances. In order to help you achieve your financial goals, consider the following tips.
Tip 1: Create a Plan for Every Dollar You Make
If you have a vague idea of how much you bring in and spend each month, it’s time to sit down with a pad of paper and a strong cup of coffee and determine where each and every dollar is going. Jot down your earnings as well as every expense that you made during the past few months — you might be surprised to see that you spent $400 on takeout food or $300 on new clothes that are still hanging unworn in your closet. Once you have a good handle on your cash flow, Every Dollar suggests creating and sticking to a budget. This will allow you to have a plan for the money that you make. Instead of feeling like your cash is slipping through your fingers, creating a budget will let you take control of your finances and essentially tell each dollar what its job is and where it is going.
Tip 2: Earn Extra Cash With Your Credit Cards
While you do not want to run up further debt on your credit cards, there are ways to use your Visa to your advantage. For example, shop around for a credit card that offers a cash back, points or other rewards incentive, and then pay off any purchases that you make with the card right away. For example, USAA offers its members a Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card that gives 1.5 percent back on purchases. If you use the card to buy $1,000 worth of groceries a month for your family and pay off the balance as you go, you will end up with $15 in “free money” that you can cash out to your account. This simple little trick will allow your hard-earned money to go further. One more great way to earn extra cash is to choose a cash back credit card. The idea is very simple – you get rewarded every time you buy something. Read this article by Just Start Investing to learn more about best cash back credit cards in 2020.
Tip 3: Start an Emergency Fund
Yes, you have to pay your electric bill, and your phone and cable bills, and buy groceries for your family and gas for your cars. But you should also pay yourself, in the form of a savings account. While many people strive to set aside 10 percent of their income into an emergency savings account, it’s also okay if this amount is not possible right now. Any little bit that you can put into an account that you will only touch if there is a financial emergency will help. Start with $25 a month, or maybe a few dollars per paycheck, and then, as your income either goes up and/or your credit card bills decrease, add to this amount until you have a nice nest egg saved up.
Tip 4: Boost Your Skills to Earn More
As InCharge Debt Solutions notes, another way to become more financially successful is to develop skills that will lead to a higher income. Speak to your supervisor about training for a new higher-paying position, and/or discuss ways that you can take on more responsibilities in the workplace. Attending conferences and workshops, taking classes and networking as much as you can will all help you to add to your skill set and either move up in your current job or possibly find a different one with better pay.
You’ve Got This!
You should be commended for wanting to take control of your money and help your family to be in good financial shape. By being aware of where your money goes and making a solid budget plan, looking for ways to stretch your dollars, earn more at work and set aside what you can into savings, you will be well on your way to reaching your financial goals.