Here’s a fun fact about me, I blog as a hobby and I love every minute of it. But my full time job is in the accounting field so naturally dealing with finances is my daily thing.
I get asked by literally everyone I know to shed some light on how to get out debt and organize their finances so I’ve compiled a list of sure fire ways to get yourself organized and on the road to financial success.
I won’t be talking to you about investing your money, I’ll leave that for another post, but here are 4 sure fire ways to getting your finances on the road to success.
1. Get a planner and use it!
A daily planner is always a good idea. I know in this day and age, we use technology for everything and it’s easy to resort to your iPhone or google’s calendar, but having a daily planner and writing down your plans can make a huge difference. You should adapt a mentally that if you ink it, it must be done. For example, write down when you get paid. Whether it’s weekly or biweekly, put it in writing what you plan to do with that money each time that paycheck comes in. Get in the habit of constantly being aware of when that money will hit your account and what you plan to do with it. This will lead you to make wiser choices with the cash on hand. Every time you make a payment on a bill, mark your calendar so that you consistently make that same payment around the same time every month. We will later discuss how to keep track of that, but jotting down on your calendar the days you make your payments is definitely essential.
I religiously use the bandoo planners and super recommend it. https://www.bando.com/collections/planners
2. Go old school: Keep a check register
When I say check register, I don’t mean write down your check numbers and amounts on your checkbook to balance out your bank account. I mean the newer version of a check register. This is 2019 after all and I’m pretty sure the population of people still writing out checks are quite small.
The newer version is simply a spreadsheet that has columns for the date of the transaction, the description, debit or credit and the balance. You’d be amazed at how much power you will be able to get back into your hands when you see everything written down in front of you of what you’re spending your money on. See below for a sample.
Nothing screams out at you what you’re doing wrong then having to write down on your register that you spent $120 on beer and chips. Trust me, doing this and keeping at it will make you more conscious of your spending and it will help out in the long run. It will also keep you constantly aware of what’s happening with your bank account and you’ll be able to catch inconsistencies much quicker.
3. Maintain a monthly bill tracker
This is where we get into tracking and planning your expenses. Get in the habit of having and constantly updating a monthly bill schedule. The below spreadsheet will help you organize just that. Write down all your monthly bills under the description column and make a plan for the month. The sample below is on a biweekly schedule, but you can change it as you see fit depending on the frequency of your paychecks. The starting balance is what you have in your bank account on the given day that you get paid. The monthly total at the bottom is the difference of your starting balance and the amount of all the bills you paid that day. The left over column is what you have left after bill pay. The goal for the left over column is to increase what’s left with every month that passes by. This simple method will do wonders for you I guarantee it. Obviously, you have to choose wisely on which bills to pay depending on the day of the month your paycheck comes, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
4. Keep a personal budget
Last but not least, you absolutely have to create a yearly budget. A personal budget is where you plan out your year based on your income and try you’re hardest to stick to it. Of course life happens and things change from month to month, but having a personal budget is essential to having your shit together. Planning how much money you want to save per month, how much money you plan on spending on leisure and how much money you want to spend on bills (The quicker those credit cards get paid, the less bills you have!) is the key to financial success. And as the years go by, you’ll notice that you will ace the budget plans and you’ll be thanking those simple spreadsheets that you didn’t want to deal with at first.
So bottom line, if you follow my not so boring guide to plan, register, track and budget you’ll definitely be surprised at how things will fall into place really fast.
Send me a message if you would like me to send over the spreadsheets with the formulas in place so all you have to do is plug in your numbers. I’ll be more than happy to share.