Whether you're running a business or your own personal finances, how you handle your money can impact your spending and savings. If you can't keep track of your accounts, you'll be surprised when you don't have as much money as you think you do. To find out how to make the most of your finances, try out the tips below:
1. Open an account
Step one: Find a bank. It's best to do some research and find out what each one is about. What do they offer? Do they charge fees? Once you've chosen a place, talk to financial services to sign up. You'll not only safeguard your money, you'll have access to a debit card, checks and the ATM. A bank will also be more likely to grant you a loan if you have an account with it, according to Consumer.gov. You can choose checking, savings or both. If you opt for the latter, some banks can link the two to protect you from overdraft fees.
2. Create a budget
Having a financial plan can help you better manage your money. If you have a bank account, you'll most likely have access to a transaction report. However, while that will help you keep track of your finances, it won't limit you. In a separate article, Consumer.gov suggested writing down all your bills (utilities, rent, etc.) and the extra things you spend money on (gas, food, etc.) and then subtract your pay. If you have a positive number, you're in the clear. If it's negative, then you need to cut some of your spending. Once you've eliminated some of your expenses, you'll see your funds grow.
3. Prioritize your bills
Some payments are more important than others, and you should take care of those first. If it will impact your credit, you should pay those right away, according to real estate investor Nick Ruiz in Entrepreneur. Then prioritize the rest. If you have a good relationship with some of your creditors, explain the situation. They could offer you a payment plan or allow you to settle it later.
4. Don't purchase things on a whim
You created a plan to keep your spending on track, so if it's not in your budget, don't buy it. While it's nice to purchase something you really want, it will feel better if you plan for it. That will ensure you can afford it without putting too big a dent in your finances. Any extra money you do have should go toward emergency situations, founder and CEO of CBAC Funding Andrew Cravenho told Entrepreneur.
Managing your finances can be difficult, but knowing where your money is going and coming from can help you set a budget. If you stick to it, you should be able to handle your funds with ease.