Take Control Of Your Finances

Just like pretty much everything in life, if you want to achieve greater financial stability, you need to devote time and energy to budgeting, planning, and assessing your finances. Most people don’t receive enough of a financial education growing up, but it’s never too late to start learning! If your personal finances feel like one chaotic mess, here are a few proven steps to taking back control.

Have a Weekly Money Day
The most successful business owners in the world spend hours every month assessing and planning out their finances. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to maintain their multi-million pound commercial empires and bank accounts. We all want more stable finances, but like these business magnates, you need to put the time in to make it happen. Don’t manage your money on an unstructured, “every now and then” basis. Instead, have a day of a week where you’ll sit down, take out all the necessary statements and documents, and assess your situation. For most people, this weekly period only needs to be around an hour. Use the time to update your budget with any changes that have occurred, review any expenses on the horizon, pay (or automate) your bills, and review all of your accounts. This may not be the way you’d ideally want to spend your Sunday afternoons, but putting in the work here will save you heaps of stress later.

Read More Often
Good personal finance management isn’t something that can be learned overnight, and while summary articles like this can be a big help, you’ve got a long way to go if you never seem to have decent control over your money. If you want to become better with money, make a point of breaking your education down into more manageable segments. Set aside 30 minutes per week (maybe as part of your money date) which you’ll use to read about personal finances. That means reading, not sporadically switching between Facebook and the article! Whether you want to know more about playing the stock market, repairing your credit score, or relatively simpler things like

Sending Currency abroad, the web is bursting with helpful articles on personal finances. Try to focus on a single topic a week, and read about this until you’re confident you understand it, before moving onto something else.

Test Out the Strategies You Pick Up
What’s the best way to tell if a certain idea or theory is going to be practically applicable in real life? Test it out, of course! This applies to pretty much everything, including your personal finances. While the personal stories of climbing out of financial ruts can be totally inspirational, some financial strategies are going to work better for some than they do for others. This is especially true when it comes to budgeting. There are countless apps and spreadsheet templates out there that are designed to help people get a better handle on their budget. While some of these can be the catch-all answer to common money issues, you’re never going to know if they’re right for you without trying things out. As you read about different strategies and models for controlling your personal finances, remember that there’s no perfect solution. You don’t want to get stuck in a rut, banging your head against the same old tips, and wondering why something’s not working!

Talk to People
Seen as you’re reading this, you may look at various people who seem to have a natural talent for controlling their finances, and wonder why you can’t manage your money as smoothly as they can. As you learn more about spending, credit, debt, and everything else, it’s a good idea to fortify your knowledge by talking to people who are great with money, comparing notes, and asking about their experiences with certain difficulties or forms of credit. Going out of your way to do this may open your eyes to some exceptionally handy tricks and tips, and more importantly, warnings about mistakes you could make. You may feel like you’re admitting a weakness here, but swallowing your pride and sparking these conversations can teach you a lot. Just remember that personal finances are a very sensitive subject for many people, and you should stay away from any of the big questions at first. Instead, start off small, and work your way towards more in-depth conversations. Best-case scenario, you’ll find a personal mentor in someone, who will be happy to guide you through all the financial ups and downs that life can throw at us!

Photo by Sergey Nivens | Shutterstock

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