Featured Image: @austinrutland
We live in a world where we constantly want more, more, MORE! We simply can’t get enough. And although having lofty goals is great, they keep you ambitious and working hard, it can become frustrating when you are a recent college grad or are just not making your dream salary yet.
However, there are small little tweaks we can make that make a big difference in the long run.
Most of these tips you can make TODAY and you won’t feel it much (or at all) on your wallet. I love making small changes at a time because the big ones tend to leave me feeling deprived and trapped.
Increase Debt Payments By 1%
Not all debt payments, however, some like student loans and car payments can really put a dent on your wallet. If you have a $30,000 student loan debt with a 5.8% interest rate, you would be paying about $9,600 in ten years just in interest. If you just increase your payments by $4 a month, you’ll be able to pay off your debt two months earlier and save about $340. Do you really need those $4.00?
Reduce Your Expenses By 1%
Saving money is an extremely important skill to learn. It isn’t something that’s necessarily taught to us in school, so we grow up just following in the footsteps of our parents. Saving just 1% a month is an easy, doable step in the right direction. If you make $3,000 a month, 1% of that is only $30. Think of a way to spend $30 less this month. Perhaps, eat one less meal out. Or call to negotiate a better insurance plan.
If you just save that 1%, you can have an extra $360 a year in your bank account. I know $360 doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but some Americans don’t even have $500 in their savings. That 1% can at some point even become 5%, creating a snowball effect in your financial life.
Try To Make 1% More Income
Perhaps you’re not in the position to ask for a raise, however, you don’t need a job to make more money. There are plenty of side hustles you can take on that will help you make that 1% more. If your current salary is $50,000, you just need to find a way to make an extra $500 a year. That’s about $42 a month. You can make an easy $40 bucks by selling old clothes or delivering food in your free time.
Close One Account
We all have something we’re paying for we don’t actually use. I had a gym membership I wasn’t using that I paid more than one year for! At $30 a month, I spent more than $360 a year for nothing. It doesn’t take much time or energy to make a phone call and cancel something. It could be a membership, a subscription, or a credit account. You’re probably thinking about what your one expense is right now. Don’t even finish this article and cancel it now!
Track Your Spending
Get an app that documents your spending or keep it old school and jot it all down on a sheet of paper (perhaps your bullet journal money tracker). Tracking every single cent you spend is the first step in creating a budget and getting your finances in order. There might be expenses that completely surprise you. Being able to see where your money is going is the first step in managing it.
I know none of these suggestions are groundbreaking, but when you first start on a journey for a better financial future, you want to take things slow and easy. We might want to triple our salary within a week, but baby steps (1%) are actually attainable and easily achievable. Today it’s 1%, tomorrow it might be 10%. Once you get in the habit of thinking about money in a different mindset, whether that be ‘how can I save more’? or ‘how can I make more?’ you start to see more opportunities everywhere.