Are you a financially responsible adult? Hopefully, the answer to that question is “yes” but it might be a hesitant “uh… yeah?” In this case, I’ll accept both. Being financially responsible essentially means taking responsibility for your finances. What I’m really asking is, are you in charge of your finances or are they in charge of you? There is a difference.
When your finances are in charge of you, you make reactive financial decisions instead of proactive ones. And what I’ve learned in life is that nothing that’s reactive is ever really that good, you want to be proactive.
If you’re bummed out because you realize that at least some of the times you might be a bit reactive and less financially responsible, don’t feel bad. We all go through phases where we have our stuff together and others where we might need a little push. Finances can be challenging, and realistically no one taught us how to be adults.
If you’re looking to become a tad bit more financially responsible, here are some great tips to get you on the right path:
1 Track Your Spending
While everything on this list is important, I personally find tracking your spending to be the most important thing to do when it comes to being financially responsible because knowing what you’re actually buying is key to figuring up what you need to do to be responsible.
I personally track everything, you can simply use a good ol’ fashioned spreadsheet. If you want to go a bit fancier, you can go with something like Airtable where you can set up specific total roll-ups so you can see where the heaviest level of your spending is going.
2 Create a Budget
I know I harp about budgets all the time, but they really are important. It can be hard to get used to a budget, but in the long run it really will be good for you. A budget not only forces you to take a look at your current finances but also plan for the future. Budgets don’t have to be hard. In fact, the more simple the better or you’ll end up making it once and never using it again.
3 Have Emergency Savings
If COVID has taught us anything it’s that we need to have extra money stuffed away that we can access in a pinch. An emergency savings fund will help make sure that you have the cash-on-hand to make purchases or pay your rent if something happens.
4 Pay Off Your Debt
Chances are that you have debt you should be paying down and doing so not only makes you more responsible (yay) but in the long run it will save you money. How you wonder? Because all of that debt that you have also costs you interest!
5 Get Another Stream of Income
You are not bound by the income that you make at your 9-to-5. You can expand your income streams to bring in more income, save more money and ultimately give you more financial stability.
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