ways to improve your finances now

Money can feel so overwhelming sometimes.

The good news is that you can learn how to change that.

I’ve listed 10 ways to improve your finances now that will get you started.

They’ve helped me go from broke grad to money pro, and I believe they can help you, too.

So, let’s get started!

1. Budget

Love ’em or hate ’em — budgets can help you improve your finances almost immediately. Especially when you have a family, budgeting is very important.

With a budget, you track your money coming in (your income) against your money going out (your expenses).

If you do this implement a budget, you can feel less money stress every month and actually start having money for things you want to do in life.

Start budgeting by using this resource below:

This resource can help you create a plan for your money and set your family up for financial success.

Financial freedom starts with your budget! It’s that important.

Up Next: CLICK HERE for my How To Become More Mindful With Money In A Marriage free class.

2. Make more money

You need to make enough money to meet your financial goals. If you’re not doing this from your day job, then figure out how to make extra money on the side.

Pick up a side job; start an online business. Whatever you do, do something!

Whatever you do, find ways to make more money every month so you can reach your financial goals. Don’t let your lack of income be the excuse you use to stay broke.

3. Set financial goals

You need to set financial goals if you want to change your finances.

Examples of goals can be to get out of debt, pay off your student loans, or save for a downpayment for a home.

Whatever your financial goals are, make sure you write them down and use the SMART method of goal setting.

In the meantime, just know that goals should be:

Specific
Measurable
Actionable
Realistic
Timely

Your financial goals will move you from where you are now to where you want to go. Without them, it can feel impossible to make progress financially.

Resources:

4. Track your net worth

Start tracking your net worth to see where you are financially. Tracking your net worth is how you measure your overall financial health at a given time. It’s a good indicator of where you stand financially today.

To track your net worth, subtract your liabilities from your assets (net worth = assets – liabilities).

Every month or quarter (whichever you want), update your net worth. This will show you how much your net worth is increasing (or decreasing!) over time.

If you want to have financial success, measuring your net worth is a must.

5. Build an emergency fund of at least six months of expenses

Financial experts recommend saving an emergency fund of three to six months of discretionary expenses, or even more depending on your sources of income (if you have one source versus three sources every month).

The one thing that I know for sure is that having an emergency fund takes away the fear around emergencies with respect to how you’ll pay for them. The emergency still may stink, but you won’t stress and worry about how you’ll pay for it if you have money saved. And emergencies will happen. They happen to everyone.

Here are a couple podcasts to help you get started with a savings strategy for building an emergency fund:

6. Get out of debt

Create a plan to get out of debt now. You owe it to your future self to get out of debt now so you don’t have to worry about it later.

I paid off $206K in undergrad and Law School student loan debt. You can read more on that here: Money Management (And Paying Off $206K Of Law School Debt).

If you understand how much you get back every month by paying down your debt (which is exactly what you pay in interest), then getting out of debt becomes too good of a financial option not to do as a top priority.

This is why taking a course like Budgeting for Budget Haters becomes almost necessary — it’s really hard to do this stuff alone. It’s so helpful to have someone guide you through how to create a budget that can help you understand why it’s important to pay off debt — and how to do it asap.

7. Save for retirement

Start saving for retirement as soon as you can. There are so many different ways to save for retirement, but a great place to start is with your employer’s plan. If your employer offers a match, it’s a good rule of thumb to invest up to the match at the least. If your budget allows you to save more, then save more (or up to the max). Saving for retirement early is really important because you have the advantage of time that older people don’t have.

It’s not enough to simply start saving for retirement. You need to learn the basics of retirement savings. For that, start by reading Retire Inspired by Chris Hogan.

8. Check your credit reports and your credit score annually

Check your credit reports and credit score annually for free using AnnualCreditReport.com. Not only will you be aware of your score, but you will know what is on your reports and whether there is any incorrect information listed. This is one way to know whether you’ve been a victim of identity theft.

9. Master your money mindset

What you believe about money is going to become your reality.

When I didn’t know anything about money, I felt broke and came from complete scarcity.

Once I learned how to think differently (better!) everything changed.

I turned my six figure student loan debt into a six figure business.

And it all started from changing my belief systems.

Resources:

10. Focus on building assets

Assets increase your net worth and are the key to building wealth.

Wealthy people have assets (something I first learned from the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. If you want to build wealth, get out of debt and acquire assets. You’ll watch your net worth grow, and you’ll be amazed at how you can change your financial future just by adhering to simple rules.

A Final Note!

A few years ago, I knew nothing about money — at all.

Fast forward to now, and I’m a financial expert, certified financial planner, and I turned my six figure debt into a six figure business.

Keep focusing on your financial life. It can pay off big time!