Keeping your family’s household finances organized while also managing to save for the future can sometimes be a challenge — and the current pandemic doesn’t help make things any easier. But by planning and executing on those plans, it can be easier to stay organized than you think.
Why Setting Goals Helps Bring You Closer to Success
Whether you’re saving or spending, having goals can really help you stay on track. If you’re trying to save up for a down payment on a house, rather than simply striving to ‘save enough each month,’ you should give yourself a real aim — perhaps 30% of your income. This makes it not only easier to achieve, but also something you can actually mark off as a completed task.
Even if you’re spending, you can set goals to stay on stable financial footing. If you plan to purchase a new car, by setting a budget, you can ensure you won’t overspend. Also, if you calculate the mileage you drive each year and compare that against the car’s typical maximum mileage before performance issues arise, you can actually make an educated guess at how long the car will last.
Automate Your Payments
This can be a big one. By automating your payments, you can rest assured that you’ll never miss paying a bill. This is particularly important for credit card debt or installment loans. These loans are often extremely convenient because they allow you to bypass a lot of the hurdles typically associated with borrowing from a big bank, and low credit scores are rarely an issue. But the interest rates can be a bit higher, so if you secure this type of loan, be sure to repay it quickly — and automate those repayments so you never miss one.
Plan Your Meals
Even if you cut back on take out, spending less on food is easier if you have a solid meal plan that allows you to purchase in bulk and it will also keep your produce from spoiling. Keeping your family well-fed and satisfied takes effort, but when you plan meals around everyone’s tastes, it becomes easier to make food you know everyone will like. If your family loves Mexican food, you know to stock up on the salsa and pinto beans to fuel Taco Tuesdays and Fajita Fridays.
Also, by making a meal plan for the week, you know what produce you’ll need. There’s no worse feeling than seeing that the fruits and veggies you bought have spoiled in the fridge because they never got used. Planning meals ahead of time ensures that you’ll actually use the fresh food you buy — cutting down on waste and padding out your wallet.
Don’t Rush During Tax Season
Tax time is just around the corner, and to make the most out of this stressful time, you need to plan. Whether you work with an accountant or handle it all yourself, carefully going through every expense and deduction will pay off. If you rush things or fail to organize your purchase history properly, you might miss out on vital ways to reduce what you owe. You’re likely entitled to more than you think, so take your time, and consult with a professional accountant if you think there are additional deductions you should be making.
Saving money is simpler than you think. It just takes patience, and a bit of follow through. You’ll reduce stress and building savings in no time.