Finance

How to Manage Your Personal Finances: Advice from the Experts

No matter who you are, where you live or what you do for a living, there’s a good chance that you’ve had difficulty managing your finances at one point or another. Whether it’s unexpected expenses, an unforeseen layoff or a medical incident with costly repercussions, it seems that there’s always something waiting just around the next corner to take your hard earned money.

While there are certainly plenty of things that exist simply to take cash out of your pocket, there are also a number of ways to keep more bucks where they belong: in your bank account. You’ll have to make some sacrifices here and there, but the end result will be worth anything you have to give up to get it. More likely than not, you won’t even miss most of the things you have to give up in hopes of having a more stable financial life.

Optimizing your budget can be a pretty difficult task, but once you start it only gets easier. As time goes on, you’ll gain a knack for saving money and looking for ways to keep cash in your pocket from month to month. Before that can happen, however, you’ll need a place to start. We’re here to provide you with just that!

Budgeting tips from the best of the best

Now, when you’re learning a new skill, you’re probably not going to want to take advice from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Luckily, we’ve parsed advice from some of the most knowledgeable experts in personal finance and proceeded to compile that information in the form of an easy-to-follow selection of tips and tricks. Let’s begin!

Cancel unused subscriptions

If you’re looking for a place to start saving money, a great option is unused subscriptions. In today’s day and age, almost everyone has at least one or two of these knocking around on their computer, phone or perhaps even mailbox. They might not seem like a huge expense, but experts beg to differ. Over the course of months and years, these unused subscriptions can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

Streaming services are one of the most common culprits when it comes to unused subscriptions. The best way to ascertain which of your streaming service subscriptions you can do without is to check how often you use them. Figure out which of them you use most and then cancel all but one or two. You’ll be saving money as soon as you hit the “cancel subscription” button!

From there, it all comes down to which monthly services you subscribe to, and which of them you’re probably able to do without. From magazines to music streaming services and newspapers, there’s no telling what pointless services you’re subscribed to. Once you cancel a few of them, you could be saving hundreds of dollars a month!

Live healthier

“Wait a minute!” we hear you groan. “This is an article about managing my personal finances, not healthy living!” Don’t give up the goat just yet though; as it turns out, the two are not mutually exclusive! In addition to helping you spend less by keeping your mind clear, living healthy can also be cheaper than your current lifestyle too.

For starters, you’ll want to get rid of as many unhealthy habits as possible. Smoking is perhaps the most common of these expensive and unhealthy lifestyle choices, costing you a substantial amount of money each month. Carbonated soft drink consumption is also as expensive as it is unhealthy; try drinking water instead. Your body, mind and bank account will thank you!

Cooking at home instead of eating out is also a great way to spend less on a monthly basis. If you eat out or order in on a regular basis, replacing these meals with home cooked ones will substantially lower your bottom line and leave you with more money at the end of the month. What’s more, you’ll also start to feel better as your diet improves!

Use public transportation if possible

While it might not be an option for everyone, using public transportation is another recommendation from the experts for anyone seeking a way to spend less and save more. Now more than ever, driving everywhere is simply not an economical way to get around. If you want to save more, drive less!

As a result of recent international geopolitical events, fuel is rapidly increasing in price and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The more fuel increases in price, the less economical it will become to drive. As this becomes more and more true, you’ll have to find other ways to get around.

If you live in a big city, this typically means taking the bus, subway or train when you need to get somewhere; for those who live in cities without the benefit of well thought out public transportation, it means finding other means of transportation. Carpooling usually presents a good way to cover long distances, while biking or walking is often a viable option for shorter stretches of ground. At the end of the day, this just means spending less over time!

Monetize your leisure time

Personal finance isn’t just about saving money, however; it’s about making it too! Making extra money is typically thought to only be possible for those willing to take a second or third job, but there’s a chance you can line your pockets without working extra hours. If you’re good at something that you enjoy doing in your free time, there’s a good chance you can make some extra coin off of it!

Music is a great example of this. Whether you’re an experienced guitarist or a reasonably competent vocalist, gigs are a lot easier to get than you might think. If you’re not adverse to performing covers from time to time, bars and clubs are a great place to start gigging. As time goes on, who knows; maybe you’ll be the country’s next musical love affair!

There’s no shortage of hobbies that can be monetized besides music. If you like woodworking, find a niche and advertise your products on online marketplaces. If you’re an amateur gardener, advertise landscaping and gardening services. The options are endless; just start trying to find the market for your skills. Before you know it, you might be making money hand over fist!

Buy second hand

While buying new is often a great feeling, buying things second hand is often far cheaper and more sustainable. In addition to being great for your wallet, buying items second hand also limits your carbon footprint and helps you remain eco friendly in a world of fast fashion and unsustainable materialism.

Clothes are a great candidate when you’re searching for areas in which to start thrifting. Second hand shops are just about everywhere, and you’ll find tons of great deals and surprisingly fashionable garments at great prices. You’ll be saving money with each purchase, and helping fight the unhealthy trends of fast fashion!

Flea markets and online marketplaces are also great for buying and selling used but still usable goods. Once you get a knack for it, you can find just about anything at either of these places, saving you substantial amounts of money on everything from laptops to cameras to clothing and more. Give it a try, you’ll probably like what you find!

Conclusion

While trying to achieve a renewed sense of financial stability can be a difficult task in a world ever increasingly plagued by income inequality and financial hardship, we hope this article has given you a ray of hope. It won’t be easy, but with careful planning and some diligent discipline, financial stability is just a few steps away. We wish you the best of luck!

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