One of the most challenging aspects of money management is that it will never be 100% predictable. Outside factors will always have an impact and there are going to be things that even when you plan for them, they simply remain out of your control. The encouraging thing is though that the more tuned in you are to your financial goals and the most vigilant you are about reaching them, the softer the blow will be if you find yourself in an unexpected situation.
3 Ways to Keep Your Financial Goals Tracked
1. Stay on Top of Debt
Your debt-to-income ratio is going to have a significant bearing on how you build your wealth. Even those who have significant amounts of debt can still build towards and save for the future if you are savvy with your repayment plans. Student debt is among the largest and most common type of debt, which means there is no shortage of information about how to successfully pay it off.
You may have heard about debt consolidation and wondered if it was right for you. There is a guide to help you understand your options and figure out the best choice for you when it comes to student loan consolidation and what borrowers need to know. By choosing consolidation you are essentially changing up the terms of your loan, in your favor, to have a lower monthly payment. What you then do with that newly accessible cash each month should reflect a choice that supports your financial goals. Some examples would be, adding towards your emergency fund or nest egg, paying more than the minimum to pay your student debt down quicker, saving for a big life event such as a home or a wedding.
Also read: Tips for Quickly Paying Off Student Loans
2. Stalk Your Wallet
Be fanatical about tracking your money. You will never be able to stay on top of how to manage your money if you have no idea how much you have coming in and going out each month. Create a budget that is manageable and realistic. Keep your goals in mind but also leave room for fun, if you become so stringent with your purse strings that you have zero funds allocated towards fun, one dinner out will throw your whole plan off tilt, when it could have just been planned for and happily spent almost seamlessly.
Check in with your budget frequently, as monthly is a good rule of thumb. Your budget needs to flex with your lifestyle, and you should change it as needed based on the fluctuations of your funds and your goals. Debriefing your financial situation frequently gives you a chance to pay attention to your patterns, both good and bad, and gives you an opportunity to identify which ones you should change or maintain before they snowball beyond recovery.
3. Take Advantage of Technology
Use apps to act as your own personal assistant/financial advisor. There are free resources available that can help you do everything from track your spending, to rounding up your loose change and investing in towards stocks or a personal savings account. Make sure to be smart about protecting yourself and your personal banking information as you explore digital opportunities. If you are hesitant a good way to get your feet wet would be simply using your banks online portal.