In life, there are always going to be surprises. When it comes to financial planning, if you don’t keep this in mind, you’ll be in for a rude awakening. From sudden home costs to vehicle repair and maintenance to doctor and hospital bills, there could always be an unexpected cost just around the corner.
In order to help you stay organized, we’ve put together a list of 3 easy steps you can take to make financial planning easier, and help you stay on track.
Saving for the Future with the 50/30/20 Rule
It might seem like saving for big future investments such as buying a new car or upgrading to a new home are difficult goals to set. But the truth is saving can be a cinch if you know how to plan and execute.
All it takes is remembering the numbers 50, 30, and 20 — which will help you stay on top of necessities, save for the future, and spend a little on yourself as well.
Popularized by Elizabeth Warren and her daughter, the rule states that 50% your after-tax income should be going toward necessities including food, housing expenses, child care, and medical and pharmaceutical needs. 30% can go toward items that you want but don’t necessarily need such as travel, eating out, and other entertainment costs.
Finally, 20% of your income should be going toward your financial goals, including reducing your debts, contributing to investments and setting aside a nest egg.
Don’t Rely Overmuch on High Interest Loans
While it’s alright to occasionally use high interest borrowing options such as payday loans from GoDay and other lending parties for short term, emergency needs like medical bills, you should never borrow money you can’t pay back in a reasonable time. These loans can be helpful, but if you’re not careful you could be paying quite a bit in interest.
Be sure that you use this tactic only occasionally. It’s true that securing a payday loan from a trusted provider often means bypassing a lot of the red tape usually associated with big banks, and that it’s often easier to get approved, but the interest rates are usually high — so make sure you balance that into your financial plans for the month. Never borrow what you can’t pay back.
Save More on Groceries
Purchasing groceries is one of the major monthly costs for any family — and it’s one that simply can’t be avoided. Food and other basic household items are going to be a necessary part of your finances month in and month out. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save.
If you’re like most, you probably remember your mother cutting coupons and saving them for grocery day or hunting through store flyers for sales. You can do the same, only digitally. Sign up for digital flyers from your local grocery stores so you’re always up to par on the latest sales, and you can also find great deals with coupon apps like the aptly named Coupons app, which gives you deals on groceries and other products from your favorite stores like Costco and Target. These small savings add up over time, especially for large, bulk purchases.
Many grocery stores also offer points cards that reward you with large items such as barbeques and lawn furniture — which means you’re getting free items just for shopping for the things you would be anyway.
If you stick to these 3 tips, you’re already on the path to savings. Don’t let surprises get in your way. With careful planning, you can master your finances easily.