According to a recent survey, 76% of U.S. adults made a finance-related New Year’s resolution on the cusp of 2020. Of those, 43% planned to set and follow a budget, 37% wanted to get out of debt, and 33% planned to establish their savings.
As we near the beginning of another new year, are you ready to get your finances on track?
If your bank account needs a little attention, here are some financial tips that can help you save smarter, live more comfortably, and finally start seeing the change you want.
Step 1: Understand Your Current Situation
Before beginning a new diet or exercise routine, most people assess their physical health first. What’s going right and what do they want to change? Which issues are more important than others?
In a similar way, you should also have a baseline understanding of your financial health before you seek to restructure it. Start by making a list of all of your debts, including student loans, credit card debts and others. Then, list all of your accounts and detail your monthly income.
Where do you make your money and how much do you make each month, minus taxes and expenses? Jot down those figures, too. You don’t have to get everything down to the penny, but a bird’s eye view helps you get started.
Step 2: Create a Budget
Experts reveal that only around 67% of Americans create and stick to a household budget. If you aren’t currently working with one, now is a great time to start.
Begin by collecting your receipts and financial statements from the past three months. This will give you a relatively clear view of where your money goes.
Next, divide your monthly expenses into categories that make sense for you. Common ones include food, gas, entertainment, mortgage/rent and utilities. Then, determine which expenses are necessary and which are more discretionary. Identify areas where you can save money, and reallocate what you would have spent to another category.
For instance, you may decide to cancel cable and nix your daily coffee shop run. Instead of spending this money elsewhere, you can use it to start a savings fund or pay down your credit card debt.
Step 3: Set a Savings Strategy
Did you know that only around 41% of Americans are equipped to cover a $1,000 emergency with their savings account? If you can’t say the same, don’t worry. There’s always time to turn it around.
One of the easiest ways to start? Set up an automatic transfer to allocate a portion of your paycheck to a designated savings account every time it hits your checking account. This way, you never actually “see” the money, which can make it easier to part with.
Even if you’re only able to save a small fraction right now, the key is to begin and you can always make it greater over time. Prioritize an emergency savings fund over anything else, storing up enough money to cover you for a few months if an unexpected emergency (such as a job loss) occurs.
As you build up your savings, you can start thinking of other things you’d like to save for, such as a vacation or your retirement.
Step 4: Learn Your Short-Term Cash Options
Making the decision to start to saving more is a great step. However, it doesn’t mean that all of your short-term expenses will go away. What do you do if your roof starts leaking, but you haven’t built up your home expenses savings account yet?
In that case, you’ll need access to cash as soon as possible. While it’s tempting to dip into your emergency fund, there are other, more financially-sound ways to move forward.
Title loans are one of them! We’ve got the details you need to know on how a title loan works, but the four-step process is easy for anyone over the age of 18 to follow.
For locals, a Georgia title loan is a type of secured loan that uses your vehicle title as collateral. We provide Atlanta title loans for residents who need access to short-term cash but want to keep their emergency accounts secure and untouched. There’s no credit check, no hoops to jump through, and an approval time of 30 minutes or less!
Step 5: Start Investing Strategically
When you’re trying to get your bank account in order, the idea of investing might be more than a little daunting. Yet, it’s one of the smartest things you can do for your financial future.
When you invest strategically, you’re enabling your money to grow over time. If the idea of day trading or the stock market overwhelms you, simply begin with your retirement account. A financial advisor can help you determine an ideal retirement portfolio that fits your age, lifestyle and risk tolerance level.
Many people choose to invest in what’s known as a target date fund. Put simply, this is a retirement fund that’s based on the approximate year that you plan to retire. Over time, the investment will fluctuate, moving from risky to conservative as you near your golden years.
Use These Finance Tips to Start Saving Today
If your bank account numbers aren’t where they need to be, take heart. There are plenty of ways to turn it around in your favor, but you have to know where to begin.
The above finance tips are a great place to get started, and can help you initiate real, long-lasting change. While budgeting, saving and investing are key, remember that short-term cash options, including title loans, exist to make life as easier and financially-freeing as possible.
Interested in learning more about the title pawns Atlanta has to offer? What about Atlanta title pawn loans? We’ve got you covered.
Reach out to our team today to discuss your options and let’s take this next step together. You can even apply right now and get quick cash for your car title today!