Living frugally means living in control of your finances. Learn how to organize your finances in a way that contributes to your financial success.
This guide will help you to:
- Set Financial Goals
- Track Your Spending
- Create a Budget
- Determine Your Net Worth
1. Set Financial Goals
To get your finances in order, you first need to decide what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to save for your retirement, a vacation, your child's college education, a new car, a house? Do you hope to pay off debt or build up an emergency fund? Spend some time identifying your financial goals--big and small--and put them on paper.
2. Track Your Spending
Do you know how much you spend each month? If not, now is the time to find out. Track your spending over a one-month period to find out exactly where all of your money goes. Are you spending too much on incidentals like coffee and vending machine snacks? Are you falling behind on your savings goals? Spending more than you make? By the end of the month you should have an answer to all of these questions.
3. Create a Budget
Once you've established a list of financial goals and taken a close look at your spending habits, it's time to create a budget that reflects how you want to spend your money. Here are several resources that should help:
4. Determine Your Net Worth
Your net worth can tell you a lot about your current financial health, and help you to plan for your financial future. Find out what your net worth is now, and then get in the habit of recalculating your net worth yearly or whenever there is a significant change to your finances.