It’s the little things that count. That phrase can apply to a lot of things in life, from love, to your pets, and even to your personal financial choices. Little changes, no matter how insignificant they may seem, can take a lot of stress off your financial life with surprisingly little effort.
If you’ve ever been on any kind of mild diet, you’ll surely be used to the types of changes we’re talking about here. These are the kind of changes that you wouldn’t hesitate to do once you heard of the benefits of losing a few pounds or saving a few bucks. In the larger scheme of things, a little here and there really does add up.
Resist the urge
Spending money has become too easy in recent years. All it takes is your personalized little piece of plastic with numbers on it, and you have access to the whole Internet of goods. You can buy anything you want with a scroll of the mouse and click of a button. Most of the problem here is the fact that you’re not handling your money. Having your credit card number saved on sites like Amazon.com makes it too easy because you don’t see yourself spending. All you see is the click. By removing your cards from the site’s memory, the action of getting your wallet out can prevent impulse spending.
Speaking of impulse buying…
Don’t buy now. I mean, unless you really need it, but chances are, you often don’t. Don’t make the argument that your party won’t be the same without that new Margaritaville blender. Give yourself a grace period of around a month before you buy anything above your weekly spending limit. At the end of that month, if you still find yourself in need of a nice new blender, you can buy it if you must. At least you gave it some thought, which most of the time, gives you a quick slap in the brain to say “you don’t need that.”
Have a plan
If you don’t already have some sort of financial plan, I hate to say it, but you’re a little behind. This goes beyond a personal banking advisor giving you a plan. I’m talking about a daily plan, something that tells you how much you have, how much you can save, and how much you can spend in any month, week, or day. Numerous smartphone applications exist solely for this purpose, but you didn’t take math in high school for nothing. These limitations can easily be figured out once you have a steady income and billing schedule.
Eliminate unnecessary finance
This has a vague title, because it encompasses a few things. First of all, you probably have too many credit cards. I tell my mom almost weekly to get rid of her Dillard’s credit card. Sure, if she shopped there daily, she might make enough in savings to justify the interest rate on that card. Otherwise, and in her case, it’s unnecessary, and can open up a can of worms. The interest rate was mentioned already, but one more card in your wallet is one more opportunity for your money to get stolen. Consolidate your wallet, and get rid of unnecessary cards.
By following these tips, you’ll be ready to make smarter personal banking decisions in the future.
This guest post was written by Flynn Zaiger in association with Hibernia Bank. The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of any financial institution or bank. This article is intended to provide those reading it with information about matters of current interest. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice concerning a specific topic and should not be acted upon without contacting the appropriate professionals.