3 simple steps to keeping finances in check

In a fluctuating financial climate, it’s a smart idea to keep track of what is being spent. This may seem like a hefty and complicated task that requires a lot of discipline. However, this can be stripped back to three fundamental and simple steps that will ensure finances remain in check. Bear these in mind and managing money need not be as hard as first feared:

Create a budget

To keep finances in check it is vital to keep a very close eye on what is being spent. Knowledge is power, so make sure a record of all ingoings and outgoings is kept, creating a detailed plan.

In doing so, it’ll become clear where money is being spent and the cut backs that must be made. This can be done easily using a spreadsheet template or via various finance management apps available on Android and Apple devices. For example, the Mint app is one of the best for keeping track of finances, as it takes the hassle out of making a budget. It’s great as a link between the app and a current account can be made for an accurate at-a-glance look at the money being held in a bank account.

Save money

Simply spending less will help to keep finances in check. This might sound easier said than done but, it is possible and committing to start small will quickly make a substantial difference.

The two easiest ways to save money are to cut back on expensive habits and shop around for cheaper ways of getting the things that are wanted/needed.

Cutting back might involve avoiding the regular morning coffee, slashing the number of takeaways ordered or cancelling a subscription that is no longer needed (whether that be to a magazine, online service or gym).

Shopping around involves committing to looking for the best deals on every bill. Using comparison sites will make sure prices are fair, from everything from car insurance to internet, TV, mobile phone and utility bills. Don’t be afraid of ringing up current providers to ask for a better deal either. Every pound saved will, after all, make that budget plan look better.

Smart investments

With interest rates languishing, thought must be given on how to make money go a little further. If possible, find a way to maximise available money, to help keep finances in check.

Knowledge will be needed in order to successfully invest as it’s not a good idea to invest in something that is not clear; that wouldn’t be a smart investment. Being confident about currency means FX Trading is the right approach. If, on the other hand, bricks and mortar is where knowledge lies then invest in the right properties. Alternatively, search out savings accounts that can deliver strong returns.

With a strong budget plan, smart savings and a commitment to make savings go further, the financial situation will be in check in no time.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.