As a professional looking for long-term financial success and a comfortable retirement, one of the first things you need to after landing a great job is managing money. Keep a close watch on the sources of income you have and the avenues where you’re spending that income. Once you have a fair view of where your money is going each month, you will be better equipped to make smart financial decisions for the security of your family. Here are a few tried and tested methods to make that happen.
- 1. Sort Your Expenses Carefully
- 2. Make Real Commitments Towards Identifying Unnecessary Expenses
- 3. Get Apps to Help You Track Expenses
- 4. Study Your Bank Account and Credit Card Statements Carefully
- 5. Go for Traditional Options
1. Sort Your Expenses Carefully
Most families incur fixed and variable expenses each month. Fixed expenses include mortgage repayments, rent, insurance, utilities, and payments towards any other debts you own. Variable expenses depend on your lifestyle from month to month such as groceries and food, clothing, conveyance, and so on. Certain credit companies send you bills with tags that indicate where you used it. Like, say, at the mall, grocery store, or gas station.
Once you have a clear view of where your money is going, you can work out where you can make cutbacks and eliminate wasteful expenses like monthly subscriptions you don’t really use.
2. Make Real Commitments Towards Identifying Unnecessary Expenses
When you take a closer look at the fixed expenses, you might find that with some amount of scouting around, it is possible to cut back on some of the costs. For instance, you could move your mortgage and car loan to a loan provider who offers more economical interest rates or other beneficial cash-saving facilities. You might also identify certain hidden expenses that may be raising your payments higher than you’d previously estimated such as small late payment fees, or prepayment fees.
3. Get Apps to Help You Track Expenses
You can download several apps online for your phone or tablet that let you track your expenses on the go. Once you’ve downloaded apps like Level Money or You Need a Budget, you only need to add each purchase you make and the category in which you’ve made the payment. The app will also automatically sync with your bank account, and has live support facilities for additional assistance. Some apps may need you to pay a subscription fee after the initial trial period. But, you might find that the app is well worth the cost.
4. Study Your Bank Account and Credit Card Statements Carefully
Each time you want to make a purchase, it is easy to whip out your credit card or checkbook and pay quickly. But, when you receive the monthly bills, take a close look at where that money went. You’ll be more careful about swiping that card.
5. Go for Traditional Options
If you aren’t tech-savvy or clueless about phone apps work, settle for simpler approaches that work for you. For instance, simply start an expense-tracking spreadsheet on your computer. Google Drive has a good one you can use. Or, try the Microsoft Excel or the personal finance app, Mint.
However, if you have too many financial transactions that must be tracked each month, try the Quicken Premier that helps you get your investments organized in a single location. And, also connects with your bank account to sync transactions. While the Quicken Starter Edition can cost you around $39.99, expect to pay around $109.99 for the advanced version. And, yes! A sheet of paper, and a pen or pencil works fine too!