Improve your finances with 10 quick changes! You don’t have to eat beans and rice everyday to changes to your finances, start saving money and being more frugal. You can improve your finances with a few small changes that add up over time and I have 10 to get you started. Most of these crazy ways to save money are way out of most people’s comfort zones or feel downright weird; but being thrifty doesn’t have to be nuts. I promise with a few changes you’ll start seeing BIG changes.
How to Improve Your Finances – 10 Quick Changes
Signs You Need to Improve Your Finances
Most of us know that we need to fix our money issues but maybe you’re not sure. Here are few signs that your finances are controlling you and not the other way around:
- You’re in debt.
- You worry about money.
- You have no savings.
- You have no retirement.
- You’re neglecting some bills to pay others.
- You feel hopeless.
- You’re borrowing money from family and friends.
- You have no finances to contribute to causes that are important to you.
Do any of those statements ring true…do all of them? Don’t worry, I’ve been there and it isn’t hopeless!
“True economy consists in always making the income exceed the outgo.” – PT Barnum
Before we move on to the tips on how you can improve your finances, let me say this; don’t be afraid to get radical! Sometimes we need to really stir things up to make changes to our finances. No fear! No guilt! We are going to get a handle on this!
Improve Your Finances Tip #1
First thing you must do to improve your finances is to stop using credit! Credit cards, personal loans, car loans – cash is king! Nothing will cause you more grief, stress and hurt your long term financial goals than debt. I recommend using the snowball method to pay off debt.
Improve Your Finances Tip #2
Start an emergency fund! The only way you’ll stop racking up debt is to have a fund for emergencies. Emergencies are not finding a great deal on something you want! I’m talking car or house repairs, medical needs, animal care, etc. True emergency needs that are not in your household budget. Dave Ramsey has great tips for getting your emergency fund built up quick. These first 2 steps are so key to improve your finances!
Improve Your Finances Tip #3
Stop shopping. Let’s be honest, shopping in the modern age has never been easier. I can shop from my computer, my phone, a tablet…I never have to leave the house. I’ve never been a mall window shopper but Amazon is very tempting. Don’t browse brick and mortar or online shops. Do not shop for fun – only if there is a true need and the budget for it!
“We make ourselves rich by making our wants few.” – Henry David Thoreau
Improve Your Finances Tip #4
Learn to entertain yourself at home for awhile. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are great ways to watch a fantastic movie. Pop your own popcorn at home (skip microwave popcorn and learn to make it the old fashioned way on the stove for MUCH better flavor) and put some REAL butter on it!
Invite your friends over for a potluck dinner and games night! It is a fun way to gather without costing anyone an arm and a leg. Some of our family favorites are: Dutch Blitz, Apples to Apples and Scattergories.
Improve Your Finances Tip #5
Have a yard sale or start selling things online. A simple yard sale can bring in hundreds of dollars by simply purging things you don’t need or use anymore. One man’s trash… Use this extra fund to build up your emergency savings or apply to debt. Bonus: Your home will be cleaner and more organized! See my Yard Sale Tips!
Improve Your Finances Tip #6
Get a side hustle. Another way to improve your finances is to bring in an extra income through a side hustle. This is typically something part time and flexible that you can do around your full time job and family. Again this “extra” income should be something you first use to build your emergency fund and then debt payment. After that you can use it to save for big purchases, start an IRA, get your mortgage paid off early, etc. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the book Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship” -Benjamin Franklin
Improve Your Finances Tip #7
Get more self-sufficient in 2019! Learn to grow and produce your own food; even growing your own herbs can help the budget. Cook more from scratch – this will help your health too which will save you long term. Not to mention a garden can be a great stress reliever. Start with my article on having The Best Backyard Garden!
Improve Your Finances Tip #8
Be careful with coupons! We ditched them, almost altogether, because I found them to be more of a hindrance than a help, See 5 Reasons I Quit Using Coupons. There are other ways you can save on food and groceries I wrote about this in 20 Frugal Food & Grocery Tips (also see tip 7 again).
Improve Your Finances Tip #9
You really need to create a budget. I have a written budget for our 2 pay periods per month. Then I have a list of set bills for each of those pay periods like mortgage, electric, Netflix, etc. At the start of the pay period I look at our bank balance, subtract bills due, living expenses (like food & gas) and then I know exactly what I have to spend for the 2 week period. I go over this daily with our bank account to make sure we are on track and that I haven’t overspent or missed something. If you find you have a hard time sticking to a budget you should consider trying the envelope method.
Improve Your Finances Tip #10
Get comfortable with being thrifty. Learn to shop used, that can be online like Craigslist, or yard sales or your local thrift store. I have found not only great deals on clothes but canning jars, books, furniture, games, puzzles and so much more. People get rid of stuff that is still in great shape, because they aren’t using it. Remember no shopping for fun – needs only.
Here’s my gift-giving rule: Respect your current financial situation. Suze Orman
It is ok to re-gift! Now I’m not advocating giving crap to your friends and family. But if you get a gift card or item (new) that you know you won’t use, hold on to it and give it as a gift later in the year. TIP: Just make sure you don’t give it to the person who gave it to you!
Improving your finances doesn’t have to be a miserable venture. Start with little steps that you are comfortable with. It is amazing how fast things can improve with just a few minor changes. I found that I loved seeing the results and wanted to try BIGGER things to get us in a better financial place.