You’ve probably seen a lot of advice that focuses on making small changes to improve your finances, like saving loose change and ditching your daily caffeinated beverage. Instead, settle down with your morning brew, ditch that advice and learn about ways you can make a big impact on your finances.
1. Make (and stick to) a budget.
This may be the most important step you can take to gain control of your finances. Knowing where your money is going can help you set up strategies to cut spending and boost savings.
2. Lower the interest you pay on credit card debt.
Paying the minimum on even a small credit card balance can cost you in interest over time. Contact the credit card company and ask if you’re eligible for a lower interest rate. In addition, look for a credit card that’s offering no- or low-interest balance transfers. Then, avoid incurring any new charges while paying off your debt.
3. Get a new quote for insurance.
You may be able to save a significant amount of money on your life, homeowners or renters, and auto insurance policies by requesting quotes from several agents. Most will offer discounts if you bundle policies.
4. Shop around for cellphone, TV and streaming services.
When was the last time you took a close look at your cellphone, cable and streaming services bills? You could be paying for plans or services you no longer need or want. Call your providers to renegotiate your current plans or compare costs with other companies.
5. Invest in your financial future.
Set up a savings account with automatic transfers from your paycheck so you’re not tempted to overspend. Once you have three to six months of expenses in savings, think about putting money into other investments like a money market or CD account. The earlier you start investing, the longer you’ll have to benefit from compounding returns.