We all want to make the best use of our resources. Saving money is at the top of this list. Financial organizing creates a focus on your goals, your systems and your routines around money. Creating a budget as the first step to organizing your money.
Start your budget by knowing what weekly and monthly expenses you have.
- Start with a list of all the utilities, rent and bills you pay every month. These expenses are often set already.
- Use mint.com to see what categories you are spending money on each month on your credit and debit cards. These expenses can be modified to see where to save money.
- Use cash for 2 weeks. Go to the ATM, withdraw the amounts for each category, and pay with cash. Leave your credit cards at home.
- Need a spreadsheet or list to create categories? These templates can help.
- Once you know where your money is going, you can take the next step with clarity.
Money saving strategies
- Pay yourself first with automated savings. You can set up an automatic deduction from your checking account to a savings account. Decide on a percentage of saving or a dollar amount to have transferred each month.
- Think about your personal goals. Is it to retire comfortably? Take more vacations? Invest in more education for yourself? Link your goals to empower your savings. When you know what you are saving for and a timeline to accumulate an amount, it is powerful.
- Designate 2 or 3 ways you will save money. There are small ways to start saving money. Eat at home for dinner. Pack lunch for work and school. Grocery shop with a list on the same day each week. Starting small helps you accomplish your goal to save money.
- Get educated on the best ways to invest your savings. Learn from blogs, attended local seminars and find trusted investment counselors.
Know your weaknesses.
- If it’s all to easy to go online or use a credit card for purchases, use a strategy to defer purchases. When online shopping, use the wish list instead of the card. Return to the site a day later and decide if you want to make a purchase. Carry only your debit card with you to make purchases, rather than a credit card.
- Just like a diet, if you feel deprived you will not keep up with your budget. Keep sight of your goals with a picture of what you want to accomplish. Reward yourself with small purchases to keep on track if needed. A small splurge can be a good thing!
Budgets help you accomplish your short and long term saving goals. Having basic tools to prioritize how you use your money makes it easier to accomplish these goals.
Lots of ideas on money management and financial organizing are on my pinterest board.
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