Simply making ends meet from month to month is getting harder for the average American. Costs are going up and incomes are not rising at quite the same pace. We are in a tricky place economically, with a recession possible.
In this context, it makes sense if your personal finances are a mess. It is hard to stay within a budget when prices are getting higher. Saving money can feel impossible.
To help you stay on top of your personal finance, here are 3 tips to take into account.
1) Lower insurance premiums
Insurance makes up a large proportion of every American’s budget. You need health insurance, car insurance, renters insurance, life insurance, and more. Each premium on its own can be significant, and all together they add up to a lot of money.
As such, lowering your premiums can make a huge difference to your budget. Different companies charge different prices based on a range of factors. For example, Lemonade renters insurance costs as little as $5 per month, compared to the average $15 per month from its competitors. The extra bucks you free up can be put in savings or used for other important things.
You can lower some of your premiums without switching insurers, too. Most car insurance policies have discounts available for good driving. Ask about other discounts for things like low mileage and a clean driving record.
If you live in a state like California, added fire safety measures can lower what you pay for wildfire cover.
2) Upgrade your budgeting skills
Budgeting is a great way of saving money every month. However, it requires a lot of effort and can be time-consuming. Getting into the nitty-gritty is important to find how you can save, but most people don’t get there.
Fortunately, you can use an app to upgrade your budgeting skills in no time. For example, You Need A Budget (YNAB) is an excellent personal budgeting app that does the job for you. It takes all of your transactions and categorizes them, showing you exactly how you have been spending money and where you can save.
By using a budgeting app, you have the time to actually look more deeply into your spending. Instead of searching through bank statements for potential red flags, you can use algorithms to flag problem spending for you.
3) Meal planning is crucial
When you are budgeting, you’ll make some troubling discoveries. One of these is sure to be the amount you spend on takeout. Another is the amount you spend on groceries. You are probably all too aware of how much of your grocery shopping goes to waste, especially if you are not cooking every night.
For this reason, meal planning is crucial. Instead of wondering every night whether you should cook or order in, you can make decisions well in advance. This way, you can buy only what you need for your meals and don’t have to stress about figuring out what to make. Instead of ordering in as a guilty pleasure, you can make it part of the plan.
With good meal planning, you’ll find yourself throwing out far fewer rotten vegetables. However, this does take commitment, especially if you are not a natural.
Meal kits can help with meal planning if cooking is hard for you. Companies like BlueApron send out boxes with all the ingredients you need for a meal cut up and prepped. Instead of worrying about finding the right recipe and preparing all the ingredients, the hard part is done for you. You simply have to put everything together and do the basic cooking, and you’ll have a scrumptious meal in no time.
The above 3 tips can help you get your personal finances in order. It is more important than ever to have your finances under control, as inflation runs high and the economy struggles.