SIMPLE STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR FINANCES

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Money might not be the most important thing in life, but it certainly makes the world go round. Although it doesn’t guarantee happiness, It’s something that most people closely tie to the overall quality of their life. So if your finances have been a source of difficulty for you, then you’re not alone. Whether you are stuck in debt, you earn too little to maintain your desired standard of living, or you simply want to start saving for a major financial goal or investing, here are some steps to help you get on track with your objectives.

1. SET CLEAR FINANCIAL GOALS: 

One of the best ways to improve your finances is to set clearly defined financial goals. Take out time to set goals that you want to work towards, these will motivate you to keep saving or investing each month. Ensure your goals are realistic and measurable, which could be long or short term. For example, your goal could be to clear N500,000 of debt next year. Define that and set a date you can move towards. Keep track of your goals so that you can see how much you have accomplished.

2. START BUDGETING: If you are struggling to handle your finances, then you likely need to create a budget. This is a plan for how you spend your money each month which is based on how much you typically earn or spend. This is a sure tool for improving your finances. To start, write down your income and then list all your expenses, then subtract the expenses from the income, this determines your discretionary spending, create a monthly budget to allocate how discretionary funds get spent. 

At the end of the month, track your budget to determine if you stuck to it. If you spent more than you made, fix your budget by cutting down unnecessary expenses or earning more. Implement the revised budget the next month. You can make use the easy budgeting tool in your payflow app

3. PRIORITIZE DEBT REPAYMENT: One of the biggest hindrances to making a headway financially speaking is the overwhelming debt that most people face. If you want to change your financial picture, pay off your debt as quickly as possible. 

List out your current debts and figure out the minimum amount you owe, evaluate your expenses, and figure out how much of your discretionary funds you can allocate towards debt repayment and set up a debt repayment plan. 

Always try to reduce the interest rate on debts by asking for a lower rate, with Payflow, you get 50% of your earned salary at 0% interest rate which helps you stay debt-free and improves your finances.

4. SAVE 15% OF YOUR INCOME: Saving is a passive approach to growing your wealth, to take better control of your finances, open and direct money to a high-interest savings platform like Payflow or Festivesave on a regular basis, this can be done on a weekly or monthly basis or at a certain time of the year. 

Tucking away at least 15% of your income is a necessity, look for ways to increase your savings over time. Small gains will amount to big results over time.

5. GO ON A SPENDING FAST: This is when you stop spending money for a set period, often, these are month-long periods of curtailed spending with exception to essentials such as food, transportation, and recurring bills. If you are willing to commit to this challenge then it is a great way to improve your finances, curb impulse buys, and evaluate your needs as opposed to your wants.

6. BECOME AN INVESTOR: There are two ways to make money; earning it actively by working for it or earning it passively while you sleep by saving or investing. Investing is a great way to build wealth, while there are risks, investing consistently in the appropriate percentages across diverse assets can help maximize your gains and limit your losses.

7. FIND ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INCOME: Most financial issues often stems from insufficient income rather than spending issues. If you are sticking to a budget, spending only on things you need but still having issues making ends meet then you may want to look for a higher paying job or generate more sources of income.
With these steps you can start your journey to financial freedom.