4 tips for better money management

@INSOUTH_BankPersonal Savings

Face it: we could all be a little better about managing our money. Whether you’re a serious investor, just trying to stretch your paycheck or somewhere in between, there are plenty of simple tactics to help you get a better handle on your cash — and INSOUTH can help.

STEP 1: Set a tangible goal

Setting a goal — defining it, mapping out steps to get there and, especially, writing it all down — is a great first step in getting your finances on track. There’s something about having a concrete goal at the end of line that innately pushes all of us to work harder and harder until with achieve it.

The key here? Make sure your goal is a tangible one. It’s great to say, “I want to save more” or “I need to spend less.” But putting specific terms to your goal is even better and — bonus! — you’re more likely to be successful. So instead of “save money” vow to “save 5% of my paycheck in an IRA.” And instead of “spend less” consider “spend $50 less at the grocery store each week.” Not only will it be easier to outline next steps, but you’ll be able to gauge successes and shortcomings.

STEP 2: Understand the basics of budgeting

Budgets are simple — but creating a smart, manageable budget can be a bit more challenging. Start by organizing all of your expenses for the month. Be sure you’re using real numbers (check past bank statements to be sure) and not guesstimates. Maybe you want to spend $40 per week on dining out but, lately, you’ve been spending two or three times that…

And, in that vein, be sure to give yourself some wiggle room — we recommend 10-15% for “other.” While it may seem like a lot, when unexpected expenses arise you’ll be covered. When they don’t? You’ve just boosted your savings in a big way!

STEP 3: Automate your savings

When it comes to savings, if you don’t see it you won’t miss it! Consider automating your savings and, soon enough, you won’t even remember you’re saving. If your work offers direct deposit have a percentage of your paycheck sent directly to a savings account so it never even hits your day-to-day cash. If not — or if you want to give yourself a little wiggle room — set up a weekly or monthly transfer directly from checking to savings. Some savers even have a daily transfer — maybe in lieu of the costly salads at lunch or AM lattes that $5, $10 or $15 goes directly into savings every single day, giving you a serious boost week after week.

STEP 4: Talk with an INSOUTH Advisor

Ready to dive in or, even, just dip your toe in the investment waters? Talk with the INSOUTH Bank team about your options and how, with a little planning, a little savings and a little strategy you can grow your wealth starting now. The best part? No matter how long you’ve been saving or how much you’ve got on hand, INSOUTH can help.

Ready to start saving? Contact INSOUTH Bank now. SAVE NOW