Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut with your finances? It’s a common feeling – especially when those bills keep on coming and gobbling up more of your pay check than you’d like. Feeling helpless about your finances can be pretty stressful too – with almost two thirds of Americans admitting to losing sleep over money worries.
Most of us would probably feel a lot better if we could see a little light at the end of the tunnel – a ray of hope to keep us motivated and working towards a better financial picture. So, what if you knew that in just a year’s time you could be feeling much more comfortable. Well, that IS possible. Make a few changes now and you can easily reap the rewards in 12 months. Here’s how it’s done…
Cut your bills
You can go a long way to improving your finances by cutting your bills. The good news is that this really isn’t very hard to do. Companies that specialise in bill negotiation can do this on your behalf – you just need to text or email over a copy of your statements and then set them to work. BillSnip reckons it can save up to 25% on your monthly bills, for example, and even a fraction of that could leave you hundreds of dollars up by the time the year is out.
Cut your habits
Cutting your bills will make a big dent into your outgoings, but it’ll also help if you can cut out a couple of costly spending habits. Maybe you’ve got a gym membership or magazine subscription that you never use? Even seemingly small spends will add up over the year. The average American spends more than $1,000 a year on cups of coffee. Skipping the takeaway on the way to work each day could, therefore, make a huge difference.
Cutting your bills and bad habits will make a big difference but don’t stop there. It’s time to challenge yourself to boost your earnings. There are many ways to go about this. You might be able to make a case for asking for a pay rise from your boss – or at least agree some targets so that you can work towards earning a salary uplift. If not, maybe it’s time to look around and see if there’s a new challenge out there that will pay you better. Don’t settle for what you’ve got – that attitude won’t help you get more. Alternatively, think about ways to maximise your earnings out of work. Everything from paid surveys to renting out a spare room can get a few extra dollars coming in.
Get the saving habit
Don’t just spend all of that extra cash you’ve saved or earned. Aim to put as much as 20 per cent of your earnings into your savings (or maybe all of the cash you save from one particular bill or bad habit). That way you can very quickly build up a sizeable emergency fund and, within a year, have enough cash saved up to feel more comfortable about your money (and life in general).
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