Take a moment to stop and think about a few of your biggest accomplishments or proudest moments. When remembering these moments, you probably also recall the many hours of practice and hard work you dedicated to achieving this particular goal. Although not always thrilling, practice is a critical part of our development and growth as it requires us to participate intentionally in order to achieve the success we desire.
When it comes to finances, most people feel as though they don’t have the stability they would like. On top of that, they don’t spend time looking at their account balances or creating a budget they can actually stick to. It can seem too overwhelming, difficult, or stressful.
Learning to save and spend money effectively might require as much time and energy as earning an award, receiving a diploma, or winning a championship game, but just like all of those achievements, it’s worth it in the end. If you desire to make a lifestyle change to improve your money management skills, start by focusing on these routine changes that will help guide you toward financial confidence.
Start Your Day The Same
Your morning routine begins the moment you wake up, which is why it’s important to create habits that you enjoy and help you feel your best first thing. If you’re not particularly a morning person, make sure you wake up early enough to allow yourself time to ease into your day. While you sit and enjoy your cup of coffee, you can start thinking about what you want to accomplish that day. You might be surprised how setting morning intentions and organizing this one aspect of your life will start to trickle into the rest of your day.
Set Your Plans
It feels good to be prepared and check things off your to-do list. Make a habit of writing your daily plans and highlight any major tasks that need to be completed as soon as possible. Then, at the end of the day, you can feel successful crossing off tasks, which will likely inspire you to continue on this path for the rest of the week.
Consider purchasing a planner or day designer, which allows you to break down tasks by the hour or minute, whichever best serves your schedule. Planning will require some repetition and practice, but over time this process will be quick and easy, and you’ll learn to love setting yourself up for a successful day ahead.
Track Daily, Weekly, Monthly Spend
Many people like to plan out their weekly budgets on Sunday or Monday. Again, you can personalize all these steps to work for your own life, but the basic principles will guide your routine. Take note of all your weekly expenses such as groceries, gas, social events, and additional travel expenses. From there, you have a general idea of what you’re spending and can compare to what you’re earning. At the end of the month, you will have a better idea of your total expenses, which will help further your budgeting projections for the months to come.
Automate What You Can
Since saving time is a priority for most of us, utilize the convenience of mobile technology throughout your day. If you prefer technology over pen and paper, download a budgeting app that can help you organize more conveniently, all you need is your mobile device. Another way to feel in control of your finances while you’re out and about is signing up for a mobile banking account that allows you to manage, receive, and send money from anywhere. Consider a mobile banking account with automatic savings, that rounds up your transactions and applies that extra money directly to your savings account. This is just one more smart way to manage and save money without making any massive lifestyle changes.
Replace A Bad Habit With A Good Habit
Set a goal to replace one spending habit you have with a more money-conscious one. Simple swaps might include; bringing your lunch to work for a month instead of ordering or eating out. Making coffee at home each morning to replace your $4 latte. Walk and bike, weather permitting, to save a few dollars on gas. Try to avoid credit card use for an entire month. Only use your debit card or cash to make purchases to see if you have a better understanding of your total spend when you’re not relying on credit.
Meet With A Financial Advisor
If you’re serious about taking steps to improve your money management techniques, schedule a meeting with a financial advisor who might be able to help you save money where you didn’t expect, refinance, and make recommendations to your plan moving forward.
Just like any skill, being confident in your financial routine takes time and practice. The good news is there is usually no need to make any major life changes in order to save and spend money smarter. Instead, place the focus on incremental changes you can implement into your daily and weekly routine. These smaller changes will be more impactful and will more likely stick with you for years to come.