It’s hard to be impartial about money. So much of our social standing and sense of self-worth comes from our paycheck and savings account that we tend to view our financial situation through rose-tinted lens, and worse, spend like we’re better off than we really are. For others of us, getting a handle on our finances seems far too complicated, and we leave it a half-muddled idea in the back of our head.
Both of these views of finances are unhealthy, and as the saying goes, the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one. And wouldn’t it be nice to have a clear, healthy look at your financial situation and know exactly where you stand? By following the simple steps below you can gain a better understanding and take control of your financial situation.
This may seem simple: just check your paycheck each month, right? For some people it is that easy, but for others tracking heir income can be deceptively complex. For example, if you work part-time or on commission, your income can vary wildly from month to month, making it difficult to predict how much you’ll earn from one month to the next.
How can this be accounted for? We suggest gathering together your paystubs from as far back as you can, and create a graph that tracks what your income looked like each month. If your income does tend to be uneven, this will help you see patterns: maybe you work at a restaurant that has more customers in the winter than in summer or fall. Knowing information like that will help you predict what your approximate income will be in the future.
Now that you know how much you make, it’s time to find out how much you spend. The best way to track your expenses is either to manually input your receipts into a spreadsheet, or use software or apps that automatically log debit and credit card purchases, sorting them into various categories. We highly recommend the latter, as it cuts down on how much effort you need to invest in tracking your spending, as well as reducing your margin for error.
Regardless of what method, app or software you choose, once the numbers are inputted you can begin to see specific spending patterns emerging, similar to tracking your income. Is most of your money going towards food? Clothes? Do you spend more during certain times of the year? You can’t get a clear perspective of your finances without knowing where your money is going, and why.
See, that wasn’t so bad, right? With just a little work and determination it’s easy to get a clear view of your financial landscape. Once armed with it, you can start creating a budget to ensure it never becomes unmanageable or uncertain again, and you can begin working towards reaching some more long-term financial goals.
Unfortunately, budgets can’t account for everything. If or when you find yourself hit with an unexpected emergency, one option for getting out of it is with a title loan. Title loans leverage the value of your vehicle’s value to secure a fast cash loan. They’re a handy way of keeping your financial situation stable during times of uncertainty, and the cash you need is no further than a simple online search for title loan near me