All financial decisions and activities of an individual, this could include budgeting, insurance, savings, investing, debt servicing, mortgages and more. Financial planning generally involves analyzing your current financial position and predicting short-term and long-term needs
Stressed about Money? Try These Tips to Get Back on Track Financially Financial stress can really take its toll on your mental health, especially as you watch your stack of billsever higher. Here are some ways to relieve that stress and get your personal finances back on the right grow track. 1. Stop outspending your means. The most essential thing you can do for your financial situation is to ensure that your income is higher than your expenses. If not, you have two options: spend less, or find a way to increase your income. Consider using a talent, skill or ability to your advantage--could you mow lawns on the weekend, teach piano lessons, or proofread papers for college students? A small side job can be a great way to bring in extra cash to balance your budget. 2. Have savings deducted automatically. Saving money, at least enough for an emergency cushion, is very important. To ensure that you have enough set aside, set up an automatic transfer, so that a portion of your check is whisked away to savings on payday. Because the money doesn't sit in your checking account, you are less likely to spend it frivolously. 3. If you must use credit cards, pay the full balance every month. Credit card interest sucks away money that you could be saving or putting toward your bills. Unless you have a great rewards card or you can afford to pay off the entire balance when you receive your statement each month, it's best to avoid paying with credit altogether. Credit cards can rapidly compound an already stressful financial situation. 4. Use your benefits to your advantage. If your employer offers a 401K matching program, maximize your contributions to take advantage of this "free" money. While it may not alleviate your financial stress in the immediate future, it can ensure a more comfortable lifestyle during your retirement years. Look out for any other money-saving perks that your employer offers, such as free or discounted gym memberships or other services. 5. Examine your expenses in detail. First, track all of your expenditures for a month or two. Then, examine your monthly spending with a fine-toothed comb to glean a complete picture of your finances; you may notice areas in which you could definitely trim your spending. 6. Create a budget. Using a site like Mint or even a simple Excel spreadsheet, set up a budget for your monthly income. Make sure that you factor in recurring monthly expenses as well as semi-annual or once-yearly expenses like insurance payments, property taxes, and license plate renewals. A solid budget is one of the most important tools for getting your finances back on track, but it only works if you stick to it. When your financial situation is out of control, it can feel impossible to climb out of the hole. You can alleviate financial stress, though, by budgeting your money and ensuring that your income outpaces your spending. Use these tips to help you get started on a path to a brighter financial future.
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