Of all the new year resolutions you might wish to make, one which most of us could do with making would be to try and take better control of our finances this year. Many people allow their financial concerns to run away from them, and usually, this means that you are going to struggle to be able to afford what you need to afford, and generally keep your life moving smoothly in the right direction.
However, there are always improvements that we can make, and you should find that you can easily enough ensure that you are going to finally take control of your money this year.
Let’s look at some of the things that are likely to help you in that specific endeavor.
Be Realistic About Your Earnings
A big problem that a lot of people make is that they fail to really be honest with themselves about how much they are earning.
You might feel that you are either earning more or less than you really are and in either case, you are only going to end up making some relatively poor decisions that are not going to do well for you at all.
In order to try and work through what your earnings really are in real terms, however, you will need to first collate all of your paychecks together from the past year, and then start working some mathematical magic on them.
In truth, one of the simplest ways to get to the bottom of your real earning figure is to look at some online resources designed to do just that.
So you might want to take a look at some blogs dedicated to that kind of thing, or you might find that using a paycheck calculator will show you exactly what you are earning over a specific timescale, whether it’s a month, six-month period or a year.
However you do it, getting realistic about what you earn is an important first step, as it allows you to know exactly what position you are in and where you can go from here.
Endeavour To Save 10%
Generally, when you are trying to take control of your money, it means that you want to have more of it put aside at the end of the year.
So in order to make sure of that, you need to think about what you can do in order to save as much money as possible. Before you start on that, however, it is also useful to think about what kind of bare minimum you might want to try and save.
If you can be clear on that, you will find that you are going to find it easier, and that you will probably save more overall anyway.
There is a common idea floating around that you should try to put aside ten percent of what you earn each month if you want to develop a decent savings pot.
There is certainly something to be said for that, and it is something which you are going to want to try and aim for in order to ensure that you are moving in generally the right direction with regards to your finances on the whole.
Of course, any more than that would also be more than welcome, but as long as you are putting aside at least ten percent, you will probably be doing yourself some favors.
If you can, why not aim for twenty percent later on in the year. That should help you to really bring about a significant change in your financial freedom, and it might be easier to do than you had assumed too.
Pay With Cash
More and more, we are heading towards a cashless society.
This is bad news for those who want to keep a close eye on their money, as it is much harder to do so when you are simply tapping your card against a machine here and there all over the place.
If you want to tighten the purse strings as much as possible, one powerful way to do so would be to try and pay with cash rather than card wherever you possibly can.
You might be surprised at how easy this is, and how much of a difference it makes to how much you are spending.
Basically, you need to budget yourself to have a weekly spending limit, and then simply withdraw that amount from your bank and use that cash over the week.
You can see at a glance exactly how much you have spent, how much you have remaining, and you will soon find yourself being much more sensible in where you spend your money.
Before you know it, you are not giving in to those luxury or sudden temptations, and overall that means that you are going to save a lot more money than you might have thought possible.
In order to avoid the temptation, you could even leave your debit and credit cards at home when you go out, and just take your cash in your wallet.
That will mean that is all you have to spend, and you will, therefore, be much less likely to spend anything. All those times that you tap your card to buy small things do add up – and that becomes much clearer when you are paying for everything with cash.
There is also just something about the psychological nature of paying with cash that makes it distinctly more like using real money, and that makes it an especially hard thing to part with.
This really does make an enormous difference, so consider making this small but necessary change today. You won’t be disappointed.
Ask For A Raise
If you know that you deserve it, asking for a raise is still something that can be daunting.
However, it’s important to remember that if you don’t ask for it, you are probably not going to get it, so that is something that you are going to want to be aware of. Asking for a raise is okay as long as you go into the situation as prepared as possible.
You need to be clear on your reasons, focusing on your strengths and your accomplishments and making a point about how important you are to the company as a whole.
You should do so with confidence, and always in person, never over email or phone. If you do it right, you have much more of a chance to earn more money, and you are going to find that it really does make a difference to your finances generally.
If you never ask, however, then you are never going to get it.
Alter Your Mindset
Money is closely tied up with how we think about issues such as whether we deserve nice things or whether we should be allowed to spend on luxuries.
If you find that you are always acting in a way that doesn’t show money respect, or in a way that is fearful, then that is the way that you are going to experience your money issues.
You need to try and do whatever you can to alter your mindset to a much more positive and hopeful one so that you are much more likely to be in a better position with regard to your finances.
If you can do that, it will make a huge difference overall in no time.
Follow these, and you should find that you are going to have much more control of your money in 2020.