If you struggle to stay on top with your finances, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans are faced with difficult financial challenges that make everyday life seem like a daily battle to simply get by. But for every challenge life sends our way, there’s always a solution of some sort. So, if your financial situation has gotten a little out of hand to the point where you are considering car title loans, here a few simple life hacks that can help fatten your wallet.
First things first; let’s talk retirement. Unless you’ve got a 401k plan to go with your social security deposit, you might want to start thinking about building enough financial security to last you through your golden years. Start off small. Try taking out one percent of your monthly earnings and allocate it to a dedicated savings account for the first month. Then, bump it up to 2 percent for the following month.
Keep upping your monthly savings by one percent each month until you’re at six percent by your sixth month. Keep stashing away that six percent for another few months before increasing again. Keep doing this until you’ve reached your max percentage while still living comfortably. It’s easier to save little by little, and with time, that little bit of money will grow into a sizeable nest egg.
Take control of your paychecks by handling your fixed expenses first. These would normally include things like rent, electric, water and your phone bill. Once all your fixed bills are taken care of, you’ll want to set aside a small percentage of your monthly income into a savings or a 401(k). After your fixed bills are paid and you’ve contributed to your savings, it’s time to pay all the other bills you have, including credit cards, gas and groceries.
After covering all these expenses, feel free to use anything left over for entertainment. If you feel like you’re stretching your paycheck too thin, consider making some changes to your monthly expenses. You could cut some overhead by canceling subscriptions or memberships like cable, the gym or anything else you’re paying for that you don’t need or use enough to justify the expense.
It takes a certain amount of courage to introduce change into your life. Cutting out certain expenses from your budget may be a scary thing to consider at first, but it’s well worth the money you’ll save. Start by breaking specific habits that are costing you too much money, like overspending online or eating out too much. If you’re a smoker, now would be a good time to set a quit date. All that money spent on cigarettes would serve you so much better in your bank account.
You can maximize the money you save by putting it in a retirement account, investing in stocks or purchasing property. Plus, if you’re willing to put in the time, you might also consider picking up a second job to really ramp up the cash flow going into your savings.
Pay off any credit card debt you have as soon as possible. The sooner, the better because in order to really take control of your finances, you have to get out of debt. If you owe balances on any credit cards, be sure to tackle them each one-by-one. Start off with the card that has the lowest balance on it and work your way up from there.
To start, take your card’s total balance and divide it by the number of paychecks you’ll receive in the next 6 months. If you get paid bi-weekly, you should be dividing your card’s balance by 12. Pay this amount each paycheck to get you card paid off quickly.
Once the first card is paid off, move on to the next lowest card balance. Repeat these steps until all your credit card debt is eliminated. You may have to put some stringent restrictions on your spending habits, but once your debt is paid, you will have peace of mind and a substantial amount of extra income at your disposal.
These aren’t life hacks as much as they are bits of practical financial advice. But when taken to heart, following this advice will help you regain control of your finances to eventually reach financial freedom.