Save money and secure your future in Jackson, MS
Saving money and accomplishing your financial goals is often easier said than done.
But once you start making positive financial choices and make saving part of your routine, it gets easier. With a little dedication, commitment, and these seven tips to get you started, soon you’ll be on your way toward securing your financial future.
Set your priorities.
Securing your future means different things to different people.
For many, it’s about setting money aside for your retirement fund until you have enough to spend the rest of your life relaxing on a beach. For others, it means saving to buy a new car or your first house.
Whatever your financial goals are, they’re valid – and yours to achieve. To meet them, you’ll want to start by setting achievable goals that you can meet. (For instance, saving $200 a month toward your new car fund.)
Then, when you achieve your goals, you can pat yourself on the back and set the next one.
Track your spending and kickstart your budget.
The next step toward meeting any financial goal is knowing what you’re already spending and saving and then making changes so you can afford your priorities.
Start by figuring out how much you spend in a month, including:
- Household bills
- Contributions to your retirement or savings accounts
Free websites like Mint can gather data from your bank accounts and credit cards to make tracking spending easier. Once you’ve outlined your spending, compare it against your income. If you make more than you spend, great! But if you’re bleeding money, it’s time to make some changes. (We’ll cover how to cut some expenses below.)
Regardless, now you can start building a budget based on your income. Determine how much you:
- Need to spend on rent, food, utilities, and monthly debt payments
- Should spend on your future (i.e., your savings and retirement accounts)
- Can spend on fun activities after meeting your needs and savings goals
Then, with your ducks (or dollars) in a row, it’s all about making smart money decisions to fit your finances into your new budget. Don’t forget to track your spending to keep yourself on the right path!
Cut costs where you can.
It’s rarely easy – or fun – to curb your spending. But every dollar you trim is a dollar that you can put to use toward your future goals. Depending on your current expenses, you may be able to save by cutting your:
- Fun money. Taking staycations, choosing low-cost or free family fun nights, and eating at home can increase your cash flow. You may even try rotating your streaming services or cancel unused subscriptions to save even more.
- Grocery bill. Did you know that many generic brands of crackers, cereals, and soups are made in the same factories as name-brand goods? Yet, they cost a fraction of the price. By switching to store-brand goods, shopping sales, and using coupons, you can slash your grocery bill and save hundreds every year.
- Costly habits. Whether you like to drink, smoke, or gamble, that money can add up. While you still may want to enjoy the occasional drink or lotto ticket, the less you put towards costly habits, the more you’ll save.
- Utility bills. From taking shorter showers, finding cheaper internet packages, and turning the temperature down on your thermostat, there are dozens of ways to save on utilities. You may have to get creative or snuggle under more blankets than usual – but you can do it!
Pay yourself first.
It’s old wisdom, but that doesn’t make it wrong. If you want to meet your savings goals, you should pay yourself first out of every paycheck.
Fortunately, modern banking tools make this easy. Simply set up automatic transfers to tuck a portion of your paycheck into your savings account every payday. Soon, you won’t even notice the money missing – and your savings will grow before you know it.
Eliminate your debts.
Debts are often an unfortunate reality of adult life. While some, like your mortgage, help build your future, others just eat into your monthly budget. (We’re looking at you, credit card debt.)
If you’re trying to save money, shaking off your debts can free up a hefty chunk of income. You can accelerate your payment schedule by making larger payments on your smaller or higher-interest debts.
As you free up more income, you can speed up your paydown period even more until suddenly, you’re debt-free and swimming in extra cash. (Maybe not literally.)
Refinance any remaining debts, if possible.
If your monthly debts are too big to comfortably pay, or if you’re stuck with an incredibly high-interest rate, you might consider refinancing your loans. Whether you lower your interest rate or monthly bills, both methods can help you free up some cash now to start securing your future. (Just remember that extending a loan repayment period may mean paying more in the long run.)
Lastly: spend – or save – extra cash wisely.
Work bonuses, inheritances, and tax refunds can provide a nice little cash boost. But it’s often unwise to use all your money for fun and games. Instead, consider putting most or all of any “extra” money you receive toward your goals, whether that’s paying down debts or building your emergency fund. The “future you” will thank you!
Seek professional advice.
If you want to make sure you are taking the appropriate means to secure your financial future, seek advice from an attorney at The Rollins Law Firm. Our competent lawyers have years of experience in helping our clients who are on the brink of bankruptcy or are already caught in the proceedings. Call us for a free consultation.