5 Money Hacks to Help You Get Control of Your Money in the New Year
- Record your expenses. Do you feel like your money is controlling you? Recording your expenses is the first step in turning that around. There is no way of controlling your money if you have no idea where it is going. In order to know where it is going, you need to actually see it. Recording your expenses can be done the old fashioned way by writing it all down on a piece of paper, putting it into a spreadsheet on your computer or by installing an app such as Mint onto your phone. Once you start to actually see where your money is going, I bet you will be surprised!
- Create a budget. Now that you are recording your expenses and you know where your money is going, it is time to create a budget. Be sure to create realistic budgeting plans for all of the areas in which you spend. You know the bills that you have and that they are unlikely to change from month to month, however it’s the other budget lines that you really need to watch for. That monthly restaurant budget? How about you try to cut that down by 20% or so. If you set realistic goals, you are more likely to succeed. It’s the same as any other habit, wherein quitting cold turkey is difficult. Baby steps are imperative when setting budget goals.
- Work on a side hustle. If, after recording your expenses and planning a budget, you find that you need more money you might consider getting a side hustle. That could mean that you get a full on second job, you sell your extra household stuff or find a hobby that earns you money. There are countless ways to make money out there, you just have to find what works for you. Earning this extra income will help you to pay off debt, build your emergency fund, save for retirement or just supplement your spending money.
- Communicate. Communication with your partner and family are key in getting control of your money. If you are sharing finances with your spouse or partner, you cannot be afraid to talk about money or any issues that come up with it. Opening up these lines of communications will change your financial life for the better.
- Keep learning. One of the best things that you can do to take control of your money in the new year is to keep learning. Continue to teach yourself how to make the most of the money that you have and how you can improve your financial situation. The internet is full of great blogs on personal finances and resources that can help you to reach all of your financial goals. In addition, there are many finance experts who write books that can help you tremendously. Be sure and do an Amazon search for these types of books and go with one (or more) that best fit your current money situation.