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Manage Your Money Better
American Middle Class

10 Simple Ways to Manage Your Money Better

If you’re looking for simple tips to help you manage your money in a better fashion, you’ve come to the right place. Although everyone goes through financial tough times now and then, you shouldn’t consistently have money worries if you have a steady income, and you’re not living outside of your means. In this article, we’ll discuss simple ways that can help you get a better financial grip and how you can better manage your money.

These tips apply to most financial situations and should help you to better track, deposit, and spend your income. Of course, not every advice is for everyone, but these simple tips are devised to be helpful to the majority of those needing help managing their money.

Commit To Small Savings Goals

While everyone wants to have a savings account that can cover any unexpected expense we should encounter, it isn’t easy for everyone to save money. If you’re a person that finds it difficult to save anything for a rainy day, try committing to a small amount from each paycheck. Start with $10.00, and have it automatically deposited into an account that is separate from your everyday spending account.

Some people are even turning to online financial services companies, such as Simple and Chime, to house their savings separate from their day-to-day funds.  If you care to keep your savings in an online account, you can transfer funds from your regular checking account to your online account, and online financial services companies often don’t charge anything to have a savings and checking account with them. This means your savings doesn’t have to be a specific dollar amount to keep you from paying fees to a bank to have an account.

Keep Everything Financial In One Place

All of your statements, bills, receipts, and financial documents need to be kept together, at your desk or in your home office. This is so you don’t miss paying bills or updating your budget because everything is scattered in your home, purse, and vehicle. By keeping everything together, you don’t need to search for items you believe are due, or keep up with more than one group of paperwork.

Pay Off Debt Slowly

Although it is essential to pay off any debt that you may have that is outstanding, you don’t need to put yourself in a bind at this moment to do so. Look at it this way: you already have the debt on your credit report, so why overextend yourself at this very moment to pay it off? By paying off the debt in a small, manageable payment series, you can still live comfortably and pay off your debt at the same time. It makes much more sense to make small payments, once a month or bimonthly, than to be unable to afford groceries to pay off that debt in a certain amount of time.

Log In Regularly

Most people don’t “balance a checkbook” any longer. This is because online banking has made it completely unnecessary. You should be sure to keep an eye on your bank accounts, though, and regular logins make that possible. Try to log in to each of your regular checking and savings accounts at least twice weekly so you can ensure there are no fraudulent charges, and that your balances are where they should be.   You need to pay attention to your financial investments as well including your 401 (k).

Use Credit Cards to Your Advantage

If you have credit card balances, pay attention to the offers for cards that will give you 0% APR on balances that you transfer to the new card. This can save you thousands in interest fees, and most credit cards are typically not that much different from each other.  By not paying interest on your credit card balances, you can use those fees to pay off other debt that you owe instead of paying it to a credit card company.

Automate Everything

By using automatic bill pay, direct deposit, and automatic transfers, you are taking all of the manual banking out of your life. When you directly deposit your funds, you don’t run the risk of having the cash in your hands and not depositing what is necessary into your accounts. Automatic bill pay will ensure that your utilities and mortgage are taken care of on time, and automatic transfers to savings guarantee that you put money away before you spend what is in your account.

Set Up A Kitty Fund

We all want to have a little bit of money for purchasing unbudgeted items. If you are working and earning a paycheck, you deserve to have a little bit of money for yourself. To keep from overspending, set yourself up a kitty fund. Use one of the online banks, like Chime or Simple, as they don’t charge any fees to use their accounts. Then, transfer $20.00 or so every payday to your kitty account, and spend it on any of those extras that you like. Kitty fund is best for Black Friday and other holiday shopping.

Get Rid Of Unnecessary Bills

We all have set up subscription services at one time or another and then couldn’t find the time to cancel the ones we weren’t using anymore. Those subscriptions can add up pretty quickly and cost you a lot of money every year. If you don’t go to the gym you’re paying for any longer, cancel your membership. Any streaming or video services that you aren’t using cancel those immediately. If you aren’t using the services you’re paying for, therefore; you’re throwing your money away.

Get An App To Help

There are many budget and credit apps on the market today. You can get an app that will help you build a budget, set up credit monitoring, and help you get your bills automated. They will report to you monthly and help you straighten out any items that you have on your credit report by assisting with making credit report disputes. A convenient and free app is Mint.  Although Mint only works directly with TransUnion on credit reports, there are many other apps out there that can help you in dealing with your budget, bills, and credit reports. Just look around until you locate the one that can help you with the issues you need assistance with.

Put 10% Into An Emergency Fund.

You never really know what sort of emergency could come your way. You could develop a roof leak, your transmission could go out, or your child could knock out a permanent tooth. All of these are very costly items, and they probably aren’t covered by insurance or warranties that you have. This could damage your finances unless you have something put away for a rainy day. You should put 10% of your income into an emergency fund that you use for only that- Emergencies. This way, when something unexpected and costly happens, you can handle the expense without wrecking all of the work that you’ve been doing on your finances and credit.

Manage Your Money Better

In conclusion, although we can’t ever really be prepared for any expense that comes our way, we can get ourselves to a point with our finances where we don’t have to worry that one little setback could send us into poverty and homelessness. By earmarking accounts for specific uses and ensuring that we put a certain percentage into savings and emergency accounts, we can certainly prepare for some of the unexpected loops that life throws at us. Yet, having some money tucked away for a rainy day isn’t the only financial preparation that we need to make.

Be sure to take the stress out of handling your finances with automated banking processes. You can direct deposit certain percentages of your pay into various accounts, and also automatically pay your mortgage and utilities. By taking the manual steps out of your finances, you are also tempting yourself less in terms of using the money for things that it isn’t earmarked for. The less of your paycheck you see, the less you will miss at the end of the day. Also, by automatically paying your bills, the money is already pulled from your account and sent on its way before you can stumble across an impulse purchase and spend your bill money on it.

Don’t forget to centralize your paperwork, and to diversify your accounts. By keeping everything related to your bills and finances in one spot, you don’t need to worry that you forget something important when you sit down to look at your bills and budget. By keeping individual savings, emergency, bill, and kitty accounts, you can ensure that you’re not overspending by only spending the available balance in your “free to spend” account. Also, it is crucial to keep an eye on your account balances and transactions. Online banking makes that simple to do, and you should be certain that you login to each account at least biweekly. By doing so, you’ll be able to catch any fraudulent transactions and dispute them, and you’ll also know if you need to transfer any balances to cover your bills for the month.

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