How to Take Control of Your Personal Finances

June 01, 2018
Most people probably feel that, instead of controlling their finances, their finances control them. Lack of income, debt and other issues can create a seemingly impossible set of personal finance problems that can appear impossible to overcome.
How to Take Control of Your Personal Finances

You can take steps to gain control over your finances. This is undoubtedly a “step-by-step” process, but eventually, it should lead to positive gains in your financial life.

These “personal finance hacks” might be easier than you expect.  

Put spending on autopilot

Rather than worrying about paying bills, you can put your regular payments on autopilot. Most service providers and credit card companies will allow you to set up automatic payments. This means you will never miss paying a bill, and you will never have to worry about late penalties and, for credit cards, interest rate hikes. Your only task each month will be to make sure that you have enough money in your bank account to cover these automatic payments. You may be able to set up a balance alert through your bank so that you will get a notification if your balance drops below the required amount.

Pay yourself

After you have put your fixed monthly expenses on autopilot, you should have some money left over. You can use this money to pay yourself. That’s right; you can give yourself a salary. This is money that you can use for whatever you want: entertainment, going out, paying for a movie streaming service, and so on. The idea here is to create a sustainable financial model. You will be more likely to keep to your budget and financial plans if you have a little bit of money to enjoy yourself.

Divide your shopping expenses

After fixed expenses and spending money, you still have to cover necessities like food and fuel. These might be more difficult to budget for because they change from month to month. You can at least create a spending limit. There are a couple of ways to do this. First, you could get a prepaid debit card. Load it with the amount of money that you want to spend each month (on food for example). You are forced to make this money last for the entire month. You can do the same thing with cash. Withdraw the amount that you need for the month and set it aside. This money can only be used for its intended purpose. A third option is to use a gift card from the grocer that you usually shop at. The advantage to this is that you will not be tempted to spend the cash or use the debit card for something else. You are forced to use the gift card ONLY at the grocer. 

What if you need more money? 

Occasionally, your spending needs could exceed your income. If this happens, you should consider an online personal loan. These loans are easy to apply for without a credit check, and the money will be deposited in your bank soon after you are approved.