Life has a way of taking us away from the things that are essential to our well-being and overall happiness. Take financial management, for instance. Most people are aware of the importance of managing finances. However, money matters tend to sit on the back burner when you’ve got a family, full-time job, side hustle, and many other responsibilities. It eventually leads to people living paycheck-to-paycheck, falling into debt, or never accomplishing their financial goals.
While money isn’t everything, life is more enjoyable when your finances are intact. Luckily, there are technological resources you can use to simplify financial management.
The first step to proper financial planning is to have a clear picture of your income and expenses. Because most people have multiple online accounts to manage bills, savings, investments, and other financial matters, it can be challenging to track. Fortunately, you have several practical solutions to consider.
For starters, you should create an online bank account to review transactions 24/7 in real-time. Another suggestion would be to use a personal finance tool that allows you to link all your financial accounts on one platform. You can sync your banking, utility, retirement, college savings, investment portfolios, and more to get a clear picture of where your money is going.
Set Spending And Expense Limits
Another aspect of managing your money is evaluating your expenses and spending habits. The goal is to reduce wasteful spending and maximize your earnings to sustain a better quality of life. Once you know your income compared to your expenses, you can make more effective spending decisions. A budget enables you to categorize your expenses and set limits to prevent you from going overboard.
Create an expense item and determine how much you’re allowed to (or need to) spend for each. For example, if your utility bill is typically $250 a month, you can set a $300 limit to cover overages or increases. If you spend more than the allotted amount, you will know that you need to find ways to conserve gas, electricity, and water to bring the bill down. You can stretch your income further when you do this for every expense.
Saving is another financial practice that’s easier said than done. When things are tight, it’s easy to assume that you don’t have enough money to set aside. However, with effective budgeting and the help of technology, saving is easier to master.
Online banks like ONE offer customers multiple ways to boost their savings. ONE offers an APY interest rate of 1.00%, which is higher than the national average. Customers can also turn to resources like the Auto-Save feature, which enables them to earn 3.00% APY on automatic transfers to their savings. Finally, ONE’s Card Auto-Save feature rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and puts the change in savings. Accumulating higher interest can help you reach your financial goals faster.
Relying on your income alone to survive and sustain a decent lifestyle isn’t ideal. The wealthiest people in the world invest their earnings to generate a higher return. Take the stock market, for instance. When you purchase stock in a company, those stocks have the potential to increase in value over time. Whether the increase is gradual or instantaneous, it puts more money in your pocket to afford the things you need and want.
Understanding the stock market is no easy feat. Fortunately, there are investment apps that make things more manageable. You can create a portfolio, review stock patterns, and even get notifications when there’s an increase or decrease in the stock’s value.
While the stock market is the most common method of investing, other opportunities range from real estate to business ventures. There are applications available to help you manage these investments for better returns.
There are multiple external and uncontrollable factors that impact our finances and make sustaining a decent living more complicated. The most effective way to overcome these challenges is to learn how to manage your money correctly. When you’re actively tracking your spending, applying your budget, saving, and investing wisely, you’ll find it easier to acquire the things you want in life.