Organize Your Finances in 5 Easy Steps

A lot of people find difficulty managing their finances. Needless to say, this can have a devastating effect on a person’s personal financial situation and even cause undue stress. You may not be aware of it but your lack of organizational skills can actually cost you money. It can cause you late charges, overdraft fees, and additional ATM fees. It may also cause you to miss out on opportunities (i.e. not buying something when it goes on sale, missing out on rebates, leaving coupons and gift cards to expire, or passing up certain tax deductions since you haven’t kept proper records) and wasted time (i.e. making return trips to the store to buy something you forgot).

To help you stay on top of your finances and avoid unnecessary stress, here is an easily implementable 5 step plan that can help you work your way toward financial success.

  • Set a goal.
  • Decide what you hope to accomplish and jot it down on paper. Identify a long-term goal to set your general direction and develop several short-term goals to help you to stay on track.

  • Track your spending.
  • Monitor how you spend your monthly income to get an idea where you stand financially.

  • Draw up a budget.
  • After accomplishing the first two steps, create a budget that reflects how you want to spend your money without getting yourself in the red. Don’t hesitate to adjust your budget when you find that it is not working for you or when unexpected things happen.

  • Pay off your debt.
  • Eliminating or keeping your debt at a minimum can help you avoid getting yourself into a serious financial rut. You can pay off the highest balance or highest interest debt first, or consolidate all your debt so you only have to make a single payment each month.

  • Start saving.
  • Having enough money saved ensures peace of mind so start saving now. For best results, try putting aside 5% to 10% of your monthly income before paying your bills. You can also choose to automatically have money deducted from your paycheck and deposit it in a separate account.

With a little discipline and dedication, you can significantly improve your financial situation and live a more comfortable life. Are you ready to get started? You should be.