They say money won’t solve all your problems. While this is certainly true, it is still important to have a healthy relationship with money. To do this, you may need to change your lifestyle to better your finances.
If you feel like you are always just “getting by” (paying your bills on time but never really getting ahead), there are some tweaks you can do in your life to make a positive impact financially.
There is no time like the present to get started on improving your monetary habits. Beyond creating a budget and paying yourself first, below are just a few tips on how to change your lifestyle to better your finances:
Create Financial Goals
- Be as specific as possible when creating financial goals; don’t generalize them. For example: Don’t say you want to make more money; Do say that you want to increase your income by [specific percentage or number] by the end of the year.
- Think long-term and short-term. Where do you want to be financially five years from now? Conversely, setting short-term attainable goals will help to keep you on track toward those end ambitions.
- Pick a set amount that you’ll save each month or debts you want to pay off, and determine dates you want to see these goals reached. Just be as detailed as possible along with making your goals measurable.
- If you have multiple grocery stores in your area but only rely on one for your weekly groceries, do a little research to compare some prices of surrounding stores. If you have a center like Aldi or Sam’s Club, you may benefit from shopping for some (or all) of your kitchen and household needs. Print out coupons prior to going and never be afraid to ask an attendant about store sales that may be happening.
- Along with grocery shopping, stop buying things you don’t need. Foods that you don’t plan on eating right away that go bad quickly or personal items that aren’t really necessary, especially right now. The less you give in to impulsive buys, the better for your wallet.
- When you see something you think you want, ask yourself how important it is for you to have it. Will it matter to you a year from now? Six months from now? Is it taking away from other financial goals you have? If the answer is no, put it back and walk away. Always think before you buy.
Check Your Bank Account Daily
- Spending just a minute a day reviewing your bank account will help to keep things in perspective for you. It’s amazing how often we can lose track of how much we are actually spending on a day to day basis. A couple dollars here and there does add up. This lifestyle change will help to keep you moving forward and adjust yourself and spending as needed.
- Do this first thing in the morning so that it is out of the way and you can set the tone for the day. You can begin your day by assessing problems you may notice and analyze your objections or notice milestones you are reaching.
Purge Your E-mail Accounts
- Steer clear of temptation of clothing sales and similar deals of items you don’t really need by doing a spring cleaning of your e-mail. Narrow down your options by unsubscribing to these multiple merchant e-mail lists.
- Sometimes it’s good for us to upgrade our closets, but it’s not necessary to do it all the time. It’s easy to give in to an enticing sale; however, the more sales you give in to, the more money you are throwing away over time on items you don’t really need at the end of the day.
Take Care of Bills Immediately
- Don’t wait to pay your bills. Get those out of the way so you don’t have that obligation looming over your head throughout the month. Schedule out payments online or sit down and write out checks all in one go.
- Whether you realize it or not, ignoring your bills affects your spending habits. If you leave these pending payments collect dust, even if just temporarily, you will be more likely to engage in some impulse spending.
- Failing to pay your bills right away also interferes with tracking your expenses. If you forget to include the amounts of your monthly statements, you will have a hard time developing and maintaining those lifestyle habits you are working so hard at obtaining in order to better your finances.
If you need to make extra money, there are options that will help to get your feet off the ground in getting ahead of debt like getting a side job or selling items on Cragslist. The above are just some lifestyle habits to develop in order to better your financial situation.
What would you add to the list? What has worked for you?