Are you ready to take control of your finances and improve them starting tomorrow? You can even get a head start right now; here are 14 things you can do right now to better your financial situation tomorrow. You won’t regret it.
1 – Earn more money
Ask for a raise, start a side hustle, create a business, sell your unwanted staff, offer your services, take part in paid surveys…unlimited potential! There’s a myriad of opportunities out there whether online or in your community. Can you turn your hobby into a money making venture? You’d be surprised at all the weird and wonderful things people are willing to pay for.
2 – Reduce your spending
Analyze your daily spending from groceries to bills. What are you fixed expenses? Can you cut anything from them? What about variable expenses? These are probably more flexible. Cut down on restaurant meals. Leave it for really special occasions. That way you’ll also value it more. And remember: You always spend more money when you eat out.
Figure out your priorities and you’ll find a surplus in your budget…limited potential but still necessary! It’s also the easiest way to improve your finances immediately.
3 – Track your expenses
The first step is to know how much you spend. Keep track of how much you spend on your monthly beer bongs, that unforgiving coffee before work, your Netflix subscription, and ordering takeout on Sundays. Write it all down. No matter how small, it’s an ant expense.
And a coffee, plus a beer, plus the sushi delivery on duty, multiplied by 4 weeks of the month, results in: a plane ticket for that getaway you want so badly! And I could go on.
Read also: How You Can Become a Reasonable Consumer
4 – Ask for a better rate
House insurance, car insurance, life insurance, cable, telephone bills, Internet. These are all expenses that you can negotiate and decrease. Competition in the market means you might be able to get better value elsewhere. Don’t fall victim to the lazy tax – where you can’t be bothered spending an hour of your time shopping for a better deal. You could potentially save hundreds if not thousands each year.
Read also: 10 Finance Tips From an Empty Nester
5 – Refinance your home
Paying a higher interest rate? The lender across the road might offer a better rate. But remember this is only worthwhile if you have a better than 80/20 loan to value ratio, and there are no exit or entry fees. Yes these types of loans exist. Shop around or talk to a broker to do the work for you.
6 – Switch banks
Are you still paying bank fees on your every day accounts? You shouldn’t be. Time to go elsewhere. I was paying $20 per month before I realized that was ridiculous. You shouldn’t be paying any fees.
7 – Arrange a payment plan
Having trouble paying that power bill? Don’t be a fool by waiting past the due by date and getting hit with a overdue fee. Call up early, explain your situation nicely and ask if there’s any way you can get a payment plan. You want to pay the bill but given your circumstances you can only make smaller payments over a certain period of time. Nine times out of ten the company will agree because they want their money.
8 – Proper management of food expenses
Fresh, seasonal food prepared at home is the best way to cut monthly costs. However, each manner of eating must be considered in the correct administration of a family budget for a variety of reasons.
Canned food, sausages, frozen food, and precooked food are options that, despite their greater price, can solve a variety of problems and provide a diversified diet without resorting to eating out, even when the refrigerator is bare or there is no time to prepare them.
9 – Find a better mobile phone rate
Prepaid and you can get away with $30 per month. My husband does. Shop around, figure out which extra are necessary for you. I need data, and I need international calls. I pay $70 per month and I don’t worry about it. I could switch to a $30 plan but I know I’d be buying around $40 worth of overseas phone credit so it’s worthwhile to be on the plan that I’m on. Don’t get ripped off. Make sure you find something that works for you.
10 – Improve your financial status by avoiding debts
Debt should be avoided as much as possible. It’s also true that getting a mortgage to buy our main house would make sense, especially if the mortgage payment is comparable to the rent we’re paying now (the current interest rate situation helps this).
But, aside from that, try to prioritize as a general rule, and, to the extent possible, pay off your debts as soon as possible, rather than using your credit card or requesting personal loans for day-to-day expenses. If you choose the latter, it will almost certainly cost you a lot of money in interest, limiting your ability to save in the future.
11 – Eat more vegetables and reduce your portion sizes
You’ll be healthier (reduce your medical costs), and you’ll spend less money on food. You don’t need to eat meat every day. Fill up on fresh fruit and vegetables and you’ll save money. Processed food is expensive and it adds up.
12 – Cut up your credit card and get rid of it
Credit cards are evil if you don’t know how to use them. If you’ve had one for years and are having trouble paying it off, it’s time to part ways. Cut it up and throw it out then work hard to pay it off as quickly as possible. Shift to a zero interest term if you can and make sure it’s paid off by the end date. Then never ever get another credit card again.
13 – Start saving 1% of your income
It doesn’t sound like much but it’s the start to an amazing life changing habit. 1% that’s all you need to start with. Don’t tell me you can’t find 1% in your budget. I’m sure you can. Saving is the number one habit you should be forming to improve your finances.
14 – Learn to cook
Relying on take out can be costly. Learn to cook delicious and healthy meals. Here are three that only require five ingredients (plus oil to cook, salt and pepper to taste).
Pasta – chicken, broccoli, cream, cheese + your choice of pasta
Chilli – ground beef, kidney beans, chilli, canned tomatoes + your choice of rice/tortillas
Stir-fry – tofu, green beans, carrot, cashew nuts + your choice of noodles
I would also add onion to all of these. Onion adds so much flavour to any meal – if there’s no onion in my house, I go into panic mode.
What else could you do today to improve your finances tomorrow?