Many people had a tough year in 2020. Not only that, but also, many have only recently returned to work. If this left you wondering how to get your finances in order, you’re not alone.
Now that winter has passed and life is beginning to return to “normal,” it’s a great time for a fresh start, financially. A few changes can go a long way. By getting organized and adopting certain strategies this spring, you’re creating a strong foundation for the future.
What’s possible once you get your finances in order? Whether you want to send more money back home, save up for a new car, or have other financial goals this year, you can succeed with the right planning. The following steps will help you get on the right path.
Set Up Automatic Payments
Setting up certain bills for automatic payments is a good move when learning how to get your finances in order. This can help you reduce late fees and even improve your credit. Many companies also provide a discount for customers who set up automatic payments.
You might be worried about setting up autopay, especially if your income fluctuates. Following a few rules can make the entire process simple. Keep these tips in mind when signing up for autopay options:
- Update payment information if changes occur (e.g., new debit card);
- Double check that you have funds available when the debit date approaches;
- Cancel automatic payments for services you stop using;
- Check that you’re still signed up for autopay after making a manual payment; and
- Mark debit dates on your calendar and include them in your budget.
You don’t have to place every bill on an automatic payment plan to benefit. If you usually need a grace period on your electricity bill, for instance, it’s probably wise to not use autopay for it.
A similar strategy is scheduling regular payments in advance. For example, Remitly now lets many customers schedule money transfers in advance. (If it’s not available to you, don’t worry—it’s coming soon!) Scheduling payments is a great way to send money on time without making a long-term commitment. Setting up payment reminders on your phone helps, too.
Use a Financial App
When you’re learning how to get your finances in order, there are hundreds of tips that can help. These include reviewing all your bills for accuracy and keeping paper invoices in one spot. The best piece of advice you can use, though, is to download a financial app.
You can use apps like Remitly to perform special tasks like sending money home, but a general money and budgeting app is also a great tool. In fact, 63% of smartphone users have at least one of these apps on their phones.
The following is a short list of apps that can help get your finances in order:
- You Need a Budget
- Wally (available in Spanish)
- Mobills (available in Spanish)
- Clarity Money
Each of these apps are available for Android and Apple devices.
Create a Budget
Creating a budget is one of the most important steps in financial organization. Around 40% of people living in America do not have a budget. This presumably explains why nearly half of them would have to borrow money if they needed $400 for an emergency.
A budget is a mandatory step to getting your finances in order, and it lets you keep track of how much you spend and how much you make every month. This can help you identify where money is being wasted. It can also teach you to manage funds better and set long-term goals.
There are four basic steps in to building a personal budget:
- Determine your monthly income;
- Calculate monthly expenses;
- Create your first monthly budget; and
- Track all expenses during the month.
Expenses include things like electricity bills and rent, but tracking spending on smaller things is also important. If you spend $15 a day on lunch at work and don’t track it, there will be hundreds of dollars unaccounted for in your budget.
A budget can also help you build savings and focus more on what’s important. Nearly 25% of people in America have no savings at all, so putting some money aside can be beneficial. And if you’re able to trim extra spending, you can focus more on things like sending money back home or paying off debt.
You Now Know How to Get Your Finances in Order
If you’re thinking about how to better manage your money, you’re on the right path to financial health. There is no secret to getting rich quickly, but when you focus on financial organization, it’s easier to get the most out of your money.
While some people only have themselves to worry about, others need to send support back home. If that’s true for you, Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Our reliable and easy-to-use mobile app is trusted by over 3 million people around the world.
Remitly also offers Passbook for United States customers, an everyday banking account designed for multinationals, with no foreign transaction fees, cash back on international transfers, and a beautiful Visa debit card with your choice of country flag. Plus, you don’t need an SSN to open an account. Remitly created the Passbook app to provide underserved communities with access to financial services. Banking services are provided by Sunrise Banks, N.A., Member FDIC.