Kolkata, October 19: Like exercising, taking control of your financial life is not a one-time exercise, rather it is a long term process. However, just like the thought of exercising, whether it is joining a gym or a yoga class may seem daunting, one also tends to put off things one need to do to get control of one’s financial life, whether it is budgeting, investing and so on. The more we delay taking action, the more difficult it gets to get started. However, fret, not. Small steps taken daily can help you get into good financial habits that will stand you in good stead in the long run. Here are a few things you can do on a daily basis.
Set a daily budget: While there are a lot of regular expenses like rent, groceries and so on, we all spend money when we go out every day. Keep a tab on how much you can spend on a daily basis and see how you can bring it down. Simple things like carrying lunch from home or cutting down on the second cup of coffee at Starbucks can lead to savings. See ways in which you can set a daily budget and stick to it. Remember, money saved is money earned.
Cut down on plastic: While credit cards and debit cards are convenient, if you tend to overspend when you use plastic, move to cash. Using cash helps you keep your expenses under control and you are not tempted to buy things that you do not need. If you stop carrying your credit card around and use it only for making fixed payments like utility bills, you will be in for a pleasant surprise when you receive your monthly credit card bill.
Check your bank balances daily: It is easy to check your bank balances from your phone. Keep a tab on your bank balances on a daily basis. This way you will know if you are spending more than you need. When certain payments are automated, they are automatically deducted from your bank account. Keeping track of your bank balances mean that you have an idea on how much money you have with you to spend till your next paycheck and it helps avoid nasty surprises.
Use technology: There are several apps available that help you track your income and expenses. Use such an app and check it once a day. You will get an idea of how much you have spent, whether you risk exceeding your monthly budget or even whether you have made some unplanned expenses. If you have splurged on a gadget, it may be time to cut back on some other expenses. After all, it is your hard earned money.
Devote 10 minutes daily to your finances: Set aside 10 minutes daily planning financial tasks. Ask yourself these questions. Do you have any bills to pay? Do you need to visit the bank? Is there some work related to tax planning that needs your attention? Do you have to renew any insurance policy in the near future? Is there an investment that you had planned to do that you have been postponing for long? Take notes so that you know which tasks require urgent attention. This way you will never miss out on anything.
Small steps can make a big difference. It is never too late to get started.