Money management is an essential aspect of life that too often goes overlooked. Many people struggle to make ends meet because they don’t manage their money properly. If you want to make the most of your money, it’s important to set financial goals and save for the future. Money management also includes budgeting and investing. Learning to manage your money can ensure a more secure future for you and your loved ones.
- Balance Your Checking Account Regularly
With the popularity of online banking and automated payments, regularly balancing your checkbook is an integral part of managing your money. While many avoid balancing their checking accounts consistently, balancing a checkbook isn’t as complicated as you might assume. Keeping your checking account balanced can help eliminate overdraft fees and quickly identify fraudulent activity.
- Create and Stick to a Budget
After balancing your checkbook, the next step to financial management is creating a realistic and sustainable budget. Although most people don’t consider budgeting a fun activity, creating and following a budget is a proven way to save money. A budget helps you create a sustainable plan for your money and can also help eliminate impulse purchases and wasteful spending. Following a realistic budget can help you plan for significant purchases and future expenses, including retirement. Budgeting can also enable you to create a plan to reduce and eliminate debt.
- Open a High-Interest Savings Account
Open a high-interest savings account to maximize the interest your savings earns. An Alliant savings account earns up to 15 times the industry average, with a minimum balance of $100, and charges no monthly fees for account holders receiving online statements. Best of all, mobile apps make banking simple from any location.
- Pay Off All Credit Card Debt
Sustaining a credit card balance costs a lot of money over time. Work on paying off all credit card debt and keeping a low or zero balance on cards. Credit card interest accrues faster than interest on savings, so work to pay off balances as quickly as possible to make the most of your money.
- Start an Emergency Cash Fund
Financial advisors suggest maintaining an emergency cash fund equal to about six months of living expenses. If you don’t have an emergency cash fund, save $1,000 as quickly as possible to create a small cache of contingency money. Then focus on paying off credit card debt since the interest on debt is very expensive over time. Once you pay off your credit card debt, build up your emergency cash fund until you accrue six months of living expenses.
It can be easier than you think to get started. Pick one goal to focus on for the next 90 days and devote an hour or two every week to learning how to improve your money management skills. Remember, you don’t have to implement all five of these tactics at once. Studies of personal productivity show that slow but steady change works the best for most individuals. Follow these suggestions and watch your bottom line improve over the coming months.