Financial tips for getting control of your finances
PAY GOD FIRST – one critical aspect of financial management to understand is that everything we have comes from God. In my experience, paying God first has been the most fruitful financial concept I have used.
PAY YOURSELF QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY – Direct deposit is a great way to save. Direct deposit money into your 401k and other savings accounts. And in most cases you will find that if you limit the ways in which you can get money out of an investment you will tend to leave then alone.
KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU SPEND – This is the key to getting to the truth. If you know how much you make, but do not account for what you spend, it may appear that you are doing better than you actually are.
LIVE ON LESS THAN YOU MAKE- We all have choices about where and how we live. We can choose to live in a smaller house, drive an older car, eat out less, and many other decisions that will cost less money in the end.
DEVELOP A SAVING HABIT – Learn to save for the future. Realize that we save today so that we can spend tomorrow. Paying cash, especially for big-ticket items, is usually the smartest way to buy them.
PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED – Life is unpredictable. When you plan make sure you allow for the unexpected by planning a set amount of dollars for miscellaneous expenses in your budget and save money in an emergency fund.
KEEP UP-TO-DATE ON LOAN COSTS AND RATES – You can save a great deal of money by refinancing loans when rates drop a couple of points.
KNOW WHAT YOUR ASSETS ARE WORTH – Be proactive in determining the equity you have in your house. Your home is likely your biggest asset and at some point it may provide money that you need.
CHOOSE TO LEVEL/AVERAGE BILL YOUR UTILITIES – Wherever possible try to reduce the variability of household bills. Many utilities offer level or average billing offerings, this smooths out the per month costs.
CONSTANTLY HUNT FOR A LOWER COST – If you want to put more money into savings you need to reduce your expenses. You can to this by being an astute consumer. Shop for lower costs in every area of your budget.
IF MONEY IS TIGHT:
LIMIT WHAT IS AVAILABLE TO SPEND – Use cash for incidental spending, when the cash is gone, stop spending and wait for the next week. This takes discipline but also provides control.
BE A MISER – Learn to hate waste. Practical ways you can benefit by reducing waste:
- Make your home more efficient. Many utilities offer guidelines for reducing the energy you waste.
- Insulate your water heaters with reflective insulation. This is a simple, low-cost step that will bring about a noticeable change on your utility bill.
- Clip coupons (and actually use them.)