Are you ready to make some changes to your financial situation? Are you looking to improve your life with some positive money saving changes? Whether you’re striving for a massive overhaul or you’re just trying to improve a few aspects of your finances, these tips will help steer you in the right direction for a prosperous and lucrative year.
5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Personal Finances
1. Ditch the corporate banks.
Like many people, you might find yourself inconvenienced by having to locate an ATM every time you need cash. You might also be frustrated with the hefty fees that they can assess. If you’re looking for convenience, then why not consider finding a financial institution that better fits your needs? Considering a bank might seem the likeliest option, but you can also consider joining a credit union.
Many people like the fact that unlike corporate banks, credit unions essentially work in the best interest of depositors rather than stockholders. They generally offer better customer service, and they’re less driven by profit. A couple websites that might be able to provide you with some helpful information are aSmarterChoice.org and MyCreditUnion.gov.
2. Have a little fun dreaming of your financial goals (and get creative!).
Nowadays, people are interested in creative methods for manifesting their goals. Making a vision board is one way that you can focus on centering your intentions on important financial goals for your future. Making a vision board is a fun activity, and you can even get some friends together to make one with you.
Grab a stack of old magazines, some scissors, and a few glue sticks to get started. Skimming through magazines can help you get inspired and can get you focused on thinking about what you really desire for your financial world. Most people like to start with four or five images, and then add smaller ones as they go along. Think about your top goals for 2016, and then try to find images that correlate with your vision. Glue them on and then place your completed board in a prominent part of your home so that you can have a visual reminder about what your financial aspirations are for the year.
3. Protect yourself from cyber-age crime.
Identity theft is common nowadays. However, you don’t need to be the next one victimized by computer or phone hackers. Since both your computer and your phone contain a massive amount of sensitive information, including bank account passwords, and social media profiles, it’s more important than ever to protect your devices. A couple of apps worth checking out include LifeLock and Identity Guard. Also take a look at the Find My iPhone app in the event that you lose your phone. Another popular app that can help spot fraudulent charges is BillGuard.
4. Plan for that inevitable terrible, horrible, very bad, no good day.
Do you have enough saved up for any unexpected expenses? Sure, none of us thinks about our brakes going out and having to invest in a $700 car repair, but it happens. We don’t often think about losing our jobs overnight and not being able to pay the next month’s rent, but that unfortunately happens as well.
It’s easy to whip out a credit card every time you need to handle unpredictable situations, but with a savings plan in place, you can avoid the pitfalls of stealthily compounded debt. If the idea of saving sounds foreign or if you just don’t think you have the means to stash any extra cash, start small. You can add just $5 a day and gradually move up. You can even set up automated bank transfers to help allocate your savings pile.
5. Stop letting money seep through the windows.
Are you dreading winter because of the rising heating costs? You can help reduce your heating bill by making a few quick and simple checks around your home. To ensure that you are not wasting energy, have a look at your home’s insulation and then seal any holes that allow cold air to creep in. You can use an adjustable thermostat in the winter as well. Consider applying window film, too. You can find the film at your local hardware or home improvement store. This translucent film is applied to the window to reduce heating costs by up to forty percent.
What are YOUR favorite ways to
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.