Are you looking to get ahead in the finance world? Maybe you have no idea how to get started, or you’ve tried some strategies that haven’t previously worked?
Whatever your situation is, you’ve come looking for help. Though the article won’t be your one-stop guide to personal finance, here are five ways to gain control of your money so you can start making worthwhile investments.
1. Make a Debt Payment Game Plan
Above anything, if you’re in debt, focus on paying off your debt. Whether from a credit card, a loan, or a mortgage, the number won’t disappear if you ignore it. Your debt will only increase the longer you delay payments.
Here’s how to create an actionable debt payment game plan:
- Get out a pen and paper, or use Excel, to make a spreadsheet. List out all your debts, set monthly payments that are above the minimum, and then get started shifting money to pay them off.
- Be realistic. Pay as much as you can each month to stay within your means, even if that’s only a bit above the minimum.
- Only pay what you can, but commit to paying consistently. Balance your timeline to pay the debt as fast as possible without breaking your budget.
2. Automate Your Debt Payments
Once you have your in-person or electronic list, it’s time to start allocating payments towards your debts. You’ll want to pay above the monthly minimum on all your debts to get rid of them faster.
Automating the payments takes the anxiety out of making the deadlines. Set credit card payments, mortgage installments, and loan charges to a chosen monthly rate above the minimum. Now your debts will pay off themselves.
3. Optimize How You Handle Cash
Though media tries to push cards over cash these days, paper money is still essential. Sometimes you’ll want or need to pay for things with cash. Maybe you want a burrito from a food cart that only uses cash? Choose a debit card carefully so that you avoid getting slapped with hefty fees at ATMs.
Big banks will try their hardest to make sure that you never withdraw cash. They’ll slap on ATM fees, limit the amount of cash you can withdraw, and try to control the flow of your paper dollars.
It’s a good practice to start when you’re trying to invest and earn big – you’ll train yourself to remember that the little expenses always add up.
4. Start Investing
When investing, choose your portfolio and stick with it. If you’re not looking to do constant maintenance and checking on your investments, choose a Roth IRA or something that will give you consistent returns. Go for slow growth with investing and consider doing additional research before getting into the game.
You shouldn’t get too excited or surprised to look at your investments, slow and steady wins the race.
5. What’s Your Side Hustle?
Have you ever thought of an idea and wondered whether you could make money out of it or not? Well, now’s the time to get started. You could write an online guide to shopping vegan at Safeway, or develop an app that connects people in need of a specific service. A side hustle leads to more money in your pocket to pay off debt with and make smart investments.
If you’ve ever had a desire for something, but haven’t been able to find it, fill the gap and start that business. You’ll make more money as an investor that’s also worth investing in.
The most important thing to remember is to be realistic with your finances, pay off debt as you’re can, and plan ahead. Consider a side hustle, and you’ll be on your way to not only investing but also gaining profits from a reputable business.