Financial health can feel like a race in which you are always lagging behind. Creating savings, getting ahead on bills, or having the cash to splurge on a fancy dinner might sound like a wonderland to many Americans. The truth is, a many respondents to recent surveys in the United States would not be able to cover a $1,000 expense without relying on a credit card to make up the emergency spending. And with credit card debt sitting at an average of over $6,000 already in the United States, this savings emergency is a recipe for disaster.
Already we are seeing how the coronavirus pandemic is devastating the country’s economy, and this is only going to continue deteriorating as unemployment continues to rise. If we didn’t take saving seriously before, United States residents are doing so now. But how can you change your at-home finance picture in order to begin to create a plan for long term wealth? The answer is surprisingly simple.
1. Start a savings pot today.
Saving is the most powerful thing a homeowner can do to improve their financial standing. Saving might sound like a scary or overwhelming concept, but a strong savings plan truly starts with your first deposit, no matter how small it is. Many savers find that an automatic roundup helps them keep up the best practice of saving. A roundup scheme is a great way to save without even thinking about it. Banks of all sorts now act in partnership with those trying to save in order to promote these good habits. With this feature engaged, every time you spend money on your debit card your financial institution will round the transaction up to the next dollar and deposit the difference into your savings account. This is a free service designed to promote good habits and comes as a standard feature at most banks.
Another way to create additional savings is to budget with this goal in mind. Building your budget by ‘paying yourself first’ is the best way to ensure that you will continue saving long into the future. Many of us think about saving as the final item on our financial checklist.
This attitude only guarantees that you won’t put away any cash for yourself. Life finds a way to sink these plans when you don’t make saving a priority. Instead of setting aside additional cash, rethink your budget with saving as the first priority. Consider your expenses as percentages rather than dollar figures in order to tweak the categories that you can change. Your rent bill cannot be renegotiated, but the amount you spend at the movie theater can. Placing your savings segment ahead of other spending will help you reevaluate the places where you are wasting cash and get you on the right track.
2. Refinance your debts.
In addition to prioritizing savings, cutting down your debts is also an important part of the overall strategy for creating financial freedom. Borrowers in the U.S. have a ton of options when it comes to loan and credit card debt consolidation. A balance transfer or consolidation loan both represent great places to begin when thinking about bringing down your total debt obligation. By merging debts with one another you can eliminate multiple minimum payments that eat away at your cash flow. This way you can bring your various accounts under one ‘roof’ and begin to pay it down as one comprehensive unit. In addition, merged debts often provide lower monthly minimum payments than the combined total of each individual account. This means you can reduce the total amount owed faster, or pay less than you are used to owing in a particularly expensive month.
3. Improve your mental health with a variety of mood boosting strategies.
Remembering to take care of your mental health as well as your financial status is an important step when approaching your overall financial picture. There are a number of things that you can do in order to clear your head, as well as strategies to improve your quality of life and home living conditions while also reducing your bills.
One good way to improve your state of mind is to get outside. Walking in the park has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in those who spend at least 20 minutes outdoors. This minimal commitment can be managed by the vast majority of us, and the improvements to your overall mental health are worth the extra bit of time in the morning or at lunch. Another great way to recreate the outdoors for those crunched for time is to introduce some indoor floor plants into your home. Floor plants and other houseplants are easy to choose and take up a fraction of space while tucked away in a corner. Indoor plants requiring medium light can be found in millions of homes across the United States because they are proven to increase oxygen and peacefulness in the home. Whether you have an olive tree or a succulent, having indoor plants around will make you smile. Homeowners often add houseplants like a succulent to their kitchen windowsill or a small indoor tree, like a Kentia palm, that only needs indirect light in the living room. Adding some green to a room can really transform its energy and your mood.
In order to really get your heart pumping, though, exercise is the way to go. Running is a powerful stress relief option that can help you mentally and physically. The exertion of running affects your entire body from head to toe and strengthens your core muscles as well. Even a light jog a few times a week can really boost your mood and feeling of wellbeing. Also, running helps promote lung, heart, and brain functionality by increasing your intake of oxygen above your average levels. This pumps oxygen rich blood throughout your entire system making your whole body feel fantastic.
4. Improve the quality of your home for long term sustainability.
In addition to lifestyle changes that will increase your productivity, boost your mood, and make you feel healthy making more substantial changes around the house can achieve the same affect. One great project that homeowners are tackling at a rising rate is the installation of solar panels in order to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bill all at once. With a solar loan from a firm like Loanpal you can access this unused space on top of your home in order to provide clean, renewable energy that will decrease your home’s running costs by a huge margin over the long term. Solar energy is the way of the future, and it will only get more efficient as time goes on. Getting in now with a solar loan to reduce your upfront costs is a great way to take advantage of technology’s cutting edge solutions that roll over into a personal, financial boost.
5. Refocus your worktime or think about starting your own business.
Adding a side hustle or changing careers is another fantastic way to make a major impact on your financial health. Millions of Americans feel trapped in their office jobs, seeking an outlet that will allow them to make a living doing what they really love. Crafting a business plan to add capital to your monthly cash flow is a great idea for anyone looking to change jobs. By adding to your usual schedule you can grow your business idea while continuing to work at your salaried job—until your new business takes off, that is. Small business creators also benefit from some unique tools to launch their products and services as well, these include survey research and data collection methods that provide reliability in their insights. The best surveys available can be leveraged to understand the marketplace you want to enter and the typical demographic of your primary client base. There has never been a better time to venture out into the market for yourself.
Cash flow and home finances can feel like a slog, but with a plan you can tackle these troubles and forge a new path forward.