Personal finance is, unfortunately, a subject that many people don’t feel confident in. Of course, our finances don’t take our confidence (or lack thereof) into consideration—it’s an all-encompassing subject regardless! So, it’s helpful to gather some degree of control over your financial situation—and, fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a monumental task. You can take control of your money in a few relatively simple steps, ranging from sorting your tax forms and scheduling your bills to saving a few dollars and tackling your debt.
If you’re like most people across the United States and abroad, there’s a good chance you deal with debt in some form. This may be student loans, particularly amid the American student loan crisis, credit cards and other consumer debt, or even your mortgage. Depending on your personal finance goals, you’re likely trying to pay down at least some of this debt and watch your overall situation improve. Your exact path to debt relief will vary, at least in part, depending on a lot of factors. However, the ultimate functionality of this step will remain the same—by decreasing your debt, more of your money will belong to you alone and you‘ll have greater control over what you do with those funds.
Organize all things official.
Money itself is a pretty important part of life, especially in a society that leans so heavily upon capitalism in order to function. However, there are certain elements of personal finance that are especially crucial, albeit bureaucratic. For instance, consider your tax forms and documentation. Do you have this paperwork in a secure place? Do you know where to find it in the first place? If not, you might consider investing in dedicated tax envelopes or folders. While it may seem strange to choose something so formal for your own finances, you may be surprised by the level of organization these custom office supplies offer this critical component.
We’ve all heard it ad nauseum: Saving money is important. But few average people really understand how to do so. Open a high-yield savings account and start setting money aside, even if it’s only a dollar or two at a time. Over time, even the smallest savings will begin to grow, and you’ll have a crucial buffer to use for emergencies, large purchases, or other goals. You may even decide to use a chunk of your eventual savings to fast-track your debt payoff plan!
Plan your payments.
Those credit card fees and other sorts of debt payments aren’t the only expenses you’re facing. Of course, there are groceries to buy and spontaneous shopping trips to take. But what about the other bills that make up your monthly expenses? If you don’t have these scheduled or planned throughout the month, you may find yourself facing late fees and other additional charges. That’s hardly conducive to controlling your finances! Instead, take the time to set up a bill payment schedule and tweak it as needed. It may take some getting used to, but your newly organized budget will thank you!
From stockpiles of envelopes to a thorough understanding of your credit card information, there are many factors that play into your financial situation. By taking on just one of these tasks at a time, you can reconfigure your finances so that you’re ultimately in control of every dollar that comes your way. Know when you’re paying a bill, where your tax forms live, how much you have in savings, and what you’re doing to tackle your debt, among your other efforts. Each step will bring you that much closer to your new-and-improved and in-control personal finances.