Managing money isn’t easy and can create tremendous amounts of stress and anxiety. Stress comes from the uncertainty of our financial situations: Will I have enough money to retire? What happens if I lose my job, since the economy is so unstable? Having a concrete plan of action will remove any doubts and trepidations you may have about your money.
1. Get in the Know: If you’re worried that you don’t save enough money, yet you have no idea how much money it costs you to live each month, then your fear of not having enough money in savings is a fantasy! Maybe you are saving money each month? How would you know if you don’t know your monthly expenses? To help determine how much money you spend/save each month, use our very popular Expense Calculator. Knowing this critical information will allow you create a plan of action to save more money. For example, if your monthly income is $4,000, and after using our Expense Calculator, you determine that your monthly expenses are $4,500, you now know that you need to cut your expenses by at least $800-$1000 per month in order to build up significant savings.
2. Do Something! If you have credit card debt, don’t keep staring at the credit card statement! Take action! Visit out Credit Card section for expert tips on how to tackle your debt. Cough up some extra money, even if it’s only $10-$20 per month, and pay more than the minimum payment – this will get you out of debt sooner and cheaper. If you’re worried that you don’t have enough money saved up for retirement, consider opening up a Roth IRA or contributing up to your employer’s match of your 401(k). Taking action is overwhelming but it solves the problem.
3. Set Aside Time: Every week, you should set aside at least one hour to organize and tackle your finances. Use this time to pay your bills and track your expenses using our Expense Calculator. By setting up a specific time each week, managing your money won’t seem as daunting.
4. Set Goals…and Stick To Them! We have an entire Goal section on HelpSaveMyDollars.com that explains how you can not only set goals, but stick to them and ultimately achieve them. Did you set any financial goals at the beginning of 2010? We’re now more than 6 months into the year, which is the perfect time to assess your financial goals. Did you achieve them? If not, what can you do in the next 6 months with your money to ensure that you achieve your goals by year’s end? Even if you didn’t set goals in the beginning of the year, it’s never too late to start. Set a financial goal. Write it down on paper. Recite your goal several times – remember your goal – allow HelpSaveMyDollars.com to provide you with the information you need to achieve your goal and you will emerge successful in the end!
5. Relax! Personal finance is an extremely overwhelming topic to absorb. There’s a lot of information out there, but if you take it in strides, managing your money will become easy. Give it some time and never give up.