With the added pressure that comes during a recession period you may find yourself spinning in circles when it comes to setting and achieving your financial goals. While the onset of uncertain financial times brings a host of variables beyond your control, it doesn’t mean you can’t take action to better position your finances. Have a look at the suggestions we’ve compiled below to get you going in the right direction.
1. Be hard on yourself
In our Essential Money Management Tips post here we encouraged you to take a good, hard look at your monthly expenses and understand where every dollar is going. With this foundation in mind, we suggest you go a step further and critically examine your spending habits to see what can be compromised or even cut out. For instance, can you borrow an outfit from a friend instead of purchase a new one for that special event? Can you exercise outdoors instead of in the gym? These changes may seem minor, but when implemented over time they can collectively make a massive difference to your bank account.
2. Make better goals
When you have an in-depth awareness of your spending habits, you can use this information to make precise and meaningful goals. It’s important that your goals be specific (rather than too generic), and that you also have regular check-in periods so that you can monitor your progress. For instance, after determining your average monthly spending on restaurants, you may set a goal to reduce this figure by 50%. At intervals, such as every 1-2 weeks, you can tally your spending and determine if you’re on track for your budget goal at the end of the month. It’s important to stick to these check in periods so you can adjust your behavior if you find yourself veering off course.
3. Plan ahead
Many people often complain that as fast as they receive their salary, the money goes right back out towards more bills and expenses. Instead of being blindsided by these dents to your income, assess the calendar year for anticipated costs. This can range from family birthdays in January, to school supplies and textbooks in September, to Christmas presents in December. It’s impossible to predict everything, however knowing a bit about how the money requirements will likely ebb and flow allows you to budget and save more wisely.
4. Do your research
There are often a number of deals and specials out there, and they can be yours if you simply go hunting for them. Aim to tame any impulse-buying tendencies, and investigate first before committing to a purchase. Perhaps the vegetable mart near your office has more reasonably priced fruit and vegetables than your usual grocery. Maybe there’s a cheaper internet package available than the one you’re currently subscribing to. Making the effort to look into all of these costs allows you to make informed choices that can positively impact your wallet.
Let us know if you try any of these tips, and how they work for you!