The majority of people have a difficult time managing their expenses. In fact, in the U.S., money is listed as the number one stress among people. Part of this stress comes from not being prepared or knowing how to accurately help yourself maintain any kind of wealth.
However, life doesn’t have to be this way. Lack of financial stress isn’t solely reserved for rich people. Everyday Americans can have financial peace of mind too. Here are a few interventions to use as a guide to managing your money so you can start living your life with less stress.
Stop trying to do everything yourself.
The first step to getting help with money management is recognizing that whatever you’ve been doing in the past year, simply wasn’t serving you. It requires a little bit of humility to know that the way you’re living isn’t sustainable, but it’s nothing to be shameful of. Hiring financial experts with industry expertise means you’re stepping towards new opportunities that will save you big in the long run rather than running yourself ragged to feel the same financial weight next year.
Track your expenses.
While you should rely on those with industry expertise to do some of these financial processes, there are some interventions that you can take yourself to. One of these is simple, and it’s to track your expenses. There are some apps on the current market, like TruBill, that do this spending tracking for you.
However, to really let your spending sink in you should get a good old-fashioned notebook to write down all of your expenses. Track your expenses for the week and make sure to include all purchases because even the small ones add up over time. This way, you will visually see where your money is going every week making it a powerful practice to show you what you may need to alter in the future.
Negotiate loan terms.
Another area that many people in the U.S. forget about when it comes to spending money is their percentage rates on various loans. Obviously, a high percentage rate means you’re paying more every month regardless of the type or reason for repayment. With this in mind, it’s worthwhile to deploy one of these two interventions.
The first is to try to negotiate loan terms like getting a lower annual percentage rate by refinancing your loan. The second is useful if you can’t refinance, and this is to try to pay off the highest amount you can afford to pay every month. Overall, this is a financially smart move so you don’t end up paying loads more in interest as time goes on.
Budget your spending.
Last on the lineup for managing your expenses is creating a budget. Personal finance experts can help you to create a budget that works for you. However, it’s not a bad idea to try it out yourself first. When making a personal budget there are some things you need to gather up. First of all, you’ll need to record all of your fixed expenses which are expenses that are the same amount every month like a mortgage payment.
Next up, your variable expenses which may change every month like electricity bills. Once you’ve combined these expensed, you’ve discovered your overall costs for your entire month. Finally, you take your total income and subtract it from these expenses to get how much money is left over (if any). In turn, you’ve taken a great step towards monitoring how you spend so that you can implement changes that will better your finances in the long haul.