Whether you’re just starting out in life or just starting to figure it out, organizing your money is hard. It’s not exactly something people like to talk about, and most of us were never taught how to do it in school.
Step one: Think about money. Sounds weird, right? But really think about it. Do you have enough? Do you know what ‘enough’ means? Do you have goals you’d like to accomplish or a certain lifestyle you aspire to?
Step two: Track your spending for a month or so. You’ll know where your money is going when you keep an eye on it.
Step three: Get all that free money and cut the fat! Max out your 401k match at work, adjust your tax withholdings to make the most of your deductions, and cut anything you’re paying for but aren’t using (like a gym membership).
Step four: Create a budget that includes savings.
Step five: Build out your emergency funds. Ideally, you’ll have a small one for when little things pop up and you’ll be working toward a bigger one to cover 3-6 months of expenses.
Step six: In debt? Make a plan to pay it off. Poke around your budget and see what you can do to make extra payments.
Step seven: Set up some investment accounts to get you to your goals faster. The stock market typically returns 7%, while savings accounts are stuck at around 1%.
Step eight: Circle back and do it again. Once you’ve settled into a routine and have your ducks in a row, go back and check on your progress.
Make adjustments as needed and pack yourself on the back – you did it!