Whether you’re a fresh graduate or a veteran in your field, your financial situation could probably use a boost. While there’s no one magical solution to your money problems, there are ways you can improve them. Here are five things that you can do to take better control of your finances:
Pay off Your Debt
It’s hard to do anything — pay off your bills, save money, and plan for retirement — when you’re buried in debt. The problem is that you can’t pay what you owe overnight unless you win the lottery. What you can do is to apply for a debt consolidation plan. It combines all the money you owe into one loan so that you just have to pay a single entity.
The best thing about this is that you get a lower interest rate than your other debts, so you end up saving money in the long run. But before you apply for a loan, make sure that the moneylender you’ve chosen is registered with Singapore’s Ministry of Law.
Track Your Transactions
To get on top of your financial situation, you should know where your money is going. It can help you make a more accurate budget and limit your purchases. Doing so can also help you identify the areas where you spend the most and find opportunities to save money.
You can keep track using several methods. One is the old-fashioned way: you can write your expenses in a notebook. For a more high-tech method, you can use a budgeting app on your smartphone.
Another method is to go cashless. By making the switch to cashless, you leave a trail and see every purchase on your account. It’s also never been easier or more convenient to make digital transactions. In fact, you can even use your phone to pay for public transportation, meals, and clothes.
Limit Purchases of Nonessential Goods
Marie Kondo’s tip about decluttering homes can also apply for shopping. Before you buy a pricey piece of clothing or the latest high-tech device, ask yourself if it sparks joy. It’s not about eliminating purchases altogether but about buying what you really want.
Don’t get carried away about sale events or savings if you buy in bulk. If you don’t use all the goods, you end up wasting money instead of enjoying savings. Take a day or two before buying something big because you might change your mind. You should also think about other ways you can use the money. Think about it: would you rather have a camera worth $1,000 or $1,000 in cash to pay off your rent?
If you have a lot of online subscriptions, you can limit the cost while still enjoying the services. Mediums such as Apple Music and Spotify offer family plans that allow relatives to split the bill. You can also coordinate with your family and friends on a Netflix account so that you can just pay a fraction of the cost.
Before you make a massive financial decision, think of the big picture. What may feel good now may end up being a regrettable choice later. Consider the consequences and try to see things from various perspectives.