There are a few things that can surpass the joy that comes with making your own money. But that feeling is crushed once you add up your rent expense, credit card payment, electricity bill, and so on.
Living paycheck to paycheck can be daunting. It can feel entrapping, stopping you from exploring other career options or life choices. I call this “being stuck in the wheel.” Having a high savings account is the biggest safety cushion, and I highly recommend saving for rainy days.
Now to get off the wheel and take control of your finances, consider the following easy ways, counting down from 7 to 1!
- Look at Your Living Situation
Are you living beyond your means? Take a good look at what you are spending the majority of your money on, and see if you can scale back. See if you really need that car lease, the apartment, or WiFi. Truly assess your needs and see where you can reduce to save for the future.
- Think About Your Free Time
Extra time leads to spending extra money. Taking a good look at how you spend your free time will give you some insight into where you money is going. Spending too much time at the bar? Or maybe too much time online shopping? Try doing free activities during your free time, like hiking or walks in the park. Your wallet and well being will thank you!
Are you building bad habits? Be honest with yourself, and critically assess where you are habitually spending money. This includes carefully analyzing your credit card bills and logging your cash spending to see if you have a pattern or habit you need to cut.
- Automatic Savings
Ah, technology to the rescue. If you online bank, have a company savings account, a 401k, or any other variation of tracking your finances online – use it. Set aside 10% of your income and have it track into your savings. Grow or downgrade from there, but start with an automatic savings of 10% and work your way from there.
- Refinance Your Existing Loans
There are multiple companies that are out there who are involved in refinancing. Take a good luck at your existing loans and their interest rates. Try to see if you think your credit has advanced since retrieving the loan, and call to see if you’re eligible for loan refinancing. It usually entails a lower rate with an adjusted payback period.
- Go Beyond Your 9-5
Basically, find a side hustle. Find your passion and go beyond your job to cash in after hours. There are multiple avenues and ways to turn your free time into cash time. Think Uber, Lyft, Air BnB, Etsy, Ebay, Poshmark – and the list never ends. In this sharing economy, get in and cash out!
- Plan, Plan, and Plan
As much as you can, plan your finances. Build a budget, and stick to it. Forecasting your needs and planning around big purchases is key to financial success. List exactly how much you need to spend on what, and save the rest! It will give you the power to take the control of your finances and will benefit you immensely.