Most of us have routine employee evaluations, physical evaluations, and even self-reflection evaluations. It only makes sense to have routine financial evaluations. In fact, taking the time to frequently examine your financial situation is one of the most important things you can do for your financial health.
Sure, it can be hard. It’s not easy to constantly check in on your account balance. You might not always feel good about what you see. But doing this is necessary if you’re going to improve the way you relate to your finances.
So how can you get started? We’ll go over the very real, concrete steps you can take towards improving your financial situation today!
How to Improve Your Financial Situation
The first step is committing the time to take a deep and honest dive into the big picture. It might feel better to put things off until you get a raise or pay down more debt – but the only real way to improve your financial situation is by taking an active role now.
Make it a habit to constantly tune into your bank accounts. It helps if you follow these recommendations.
Set Aside Time to Look at Your Finances
To improve your financial situation, you’re first going to have to understand it. This means recognizing how much money you have coming in and going out.
A good idea is to keep a weekly log of how much you’re spending and where your money is going. You only need to do this for a few weeks to get a full-sized picture of your financial situation. Your bank might also offer free reports that allow you to track your spending. Soon, you’ll know whether you are living above your means or whether you’re able to save and invest.
Create a Budget
Once you know how much money you have left after all your necessary and unnecessary expenses, your goal should be to maximize this amount as much as possible. More often than not, you’ll have to start living below your means in order to retain more of your cash. This is where a budget can help.
Creating a budget may sound like a daunting task, but with the right tools, it’s pretty simple. For starters, you’ll need to have a clear picture of your financial goals. Then it’s about allocating your monthly income towards categories like essential spending, non-essential spending, savings, and more. You can view all the steps here. MoneyLion even has the Financial Heartbeat tool that syncs your bank accounts into one place and helps you get organized.
Start a Savings or Investing Plan – Deciding Which One is Best For You
Once you have a solid idea of what you have left at the end of each month – it’s time to optimize your savings. You can do it with a savings account or an investment account. A savings account almost always ensures you’ll never lose your principal. However, an investment account is your best bet if you’re aiming for higher gains.
If you’ve never invested, you’re not alone. We’re here to show you the ropes with a low-cost investment account with 0 minimums and no asset-based management fees.
MoneyLion offers fully managed portfolios, which are ideal for somebody who’s looking to invest but doesn’t have the time or expertise to manage individual stocks.
Have a Plan for Emergencies or Unexpected Costs
Whether it’s a car accident, health issue, or you’ve been laid off – no one likes to think about financial emergencies. But the unfortunate reality is that they happen. If you’re unprepared, an unexpected cost can drastically set back your financial progress.
Financial experts recommend putting aside at least 3 to 6 months of expenses in an emergency fund. Even though everyone maybe not able to set aside this much cash, just allocating a few hundred dollars is a good place to start. In the meantime, look into insurance products or low-cost lines of credit that are readily available in case of an emergency.
For example, MoneyLion offers instant, 0% APR cash advances for up to $250 as well as low-cost Credit Builder Loans. These financial products are resources that could alleviate stress in an unideal situation.
Set Financial Goals
No matter where you are financially, you should have a clear idea of where you’re heading. Are you planning on going back to school? Are you saving up for a home? Maybe you’re trying to pay down debt. You might even be setting aside cash for an overdue family vacation.
Start by writing down your short-term and long-term financial goals. You’ll want to estimate how much it will cost to achieve each goal and how long it will take to reach each goal. This will help you understand which goals should be priorities.
For example, if you’re paying high-interest rates on your credit card balance each month, you’ll want to pay down this debt first before you focus on a vacation.
Knowing your financial goals keeps you motivated to stick to your budget. It’s not always easy, but if you consistently visualize achieving your goal you’ll be more likely to stay on track towards financial health.
How MoneyLion Can Help You Improve Your Financial Situation
MoneyLion offers financial products that are designed to get you on track towards financial health. Start growing your savings faster with a low-cost, fully managed portfolio from MoneyLion. Your investment portfolio adjusts to your unique financial goals and you can take advantage of features like Auto Invest to boost your savings.
If you’re looking for a bank that goes above and beyond the norm, consider creating a RoarMoney account.
This online bank account from MoneyLion offers unique bonuses like debit card rewards, price protection, budgeting tools, spending reports, and more.
MoneyLion is committed to empowering you to make your money roar!