Throughout 2023, phrases like ‘Rising Inflation’, ‘Cost of Living Crisis’, and ‘Price Increase’ were widely banded around, particularly within the media.
While much of this rhetoric was sensationalized for a more dramatic effect, there is no doubt that more and more people are feeling the pinch. The cost of things like petrol, food, and electricity have increased, and for many people living from paycheck to paycheck, making ends meet is becoming increasingly difficult.
For this reason, many are looking for ways to improve their finances in 2024, which is why we have put together 12 strategies they can adopt to increase their wealth.
Put any, or better still, all of these methodologies into practice, and you should soon find yourself sailing toward a more secure financial position.
Change Your Mindset
Improving your personal finances is as much about a mindset as anything else. While you might have been a free spender in years gone by, if you are serious about moving yourself into a better financial position, you are going to have to stay focused on the process of doing so.
This takes discipline, a steady commitment to the cause, and planning for success because you will not achieve your goal if you don’t have this. So, right from this moment, pledge yourself to do all you can to become more affluent. It is the first step towards a more prosperous life.
Have a Goal in Mind
It is all fair, well, and good to say you want to improve your personal finances, but what exactly does that mean?
It is harder to achieve something that is largely intangible. Therefore, it is worth quantifying what you want to do. For instance, you might set yourself the goal of having $25k in savings in 5 years’ time or being able to fully retire at the age of 55 with enough money to fund your golden years.
Whatever it is you are hoping to achieve, defining it as a goal will provide you with even more focus on working towards it.
Track Your Spending
One of the easiest ways to improve your financial position, particularly in the short term, is to track your spending and cut down on it accordingly.
It might take a bit of time, but it is worth going through your bank statements over the last 3 to 6 months to audit how and where you spend your money.
If you do this, you will know exactly how much you have spent on everything from rent/mortgages, groceries, and petrol to streaming services, nights out, and clothes.
The results may surprise you and should also open your eyes to cost-saving opportunities.
Cut Down on Your Spending
Talking of cost-saving opportunities, we can all be guilty of overspending at times, sometimes without realizing it. So, it is worth identifying what expenses you have incurred that are not necessary.
For instance, do you really need to have YouTube and Spotify Premium, along with the Netflix, Disney, and Kayo streaming services? Is the amount of times you have gone to the gym worth the annual fee you are currently paying for membership?
The chances are there are one or two membership or subscription services that automatically come out of your bank account. Canceling them if you don’t really use them can make an immediate difference to your bank balance.
Additionally, switch to car and health insurance, phone and internet, and utility providers that offer cheaper prices than you are currently paying. This simple act can save you thousands of dollars in a year.
Get a Better Mortgage
Another simple way to save money is to get a better mortgage.
It is easy to forget that banks are businesses and always looking for new customers. So, if you currently find yourself having to fork out a significant amount every week or month, you should take the opportunity to talk to another provider.
Even if you can find another provider that offers you 0.25% less of an interest rate on your loan amount than your current lender, you will find yourself saving a substantial amount over the course of the repayments.
Once you do have a mortgage, overpaying it can also be a good tactic to reduce the remaining loan amount further.
Re-Evaluate How Much Your Lifestyle Is Costing You
It is nice to go out and enjoy meals at restaurants and a few beers or wines at a pub every now and then. But have you ever stopped to think how much this is costing you?
If you are serious about putting yourself on a more solid financial footing, it might be worth reducing the number of times you go out in a month and how much you spend on dining out and alcohol.
You will have more money at your disposal and (possibly even) experience less hangovers.
Get Rid of Credit Card Debt
Did you know? The average credit card debt a person has, for example, in Australia, is about $3,043 (based on monthly balance). However, if you don’t pay off the balance every month, you could be charged substantial amounts of interest, which keeps you in further debt.
Sustaining a debt like this can be a major handicap in putting yourself in a better financial position. So, for this reason, you should prioritize reducing how much you owe on it as soon as possible.
To avoid the temptation of going into debt again, you should also consider canceling your credit card or, at the very least, reducing it to a maximum balance.
So far, the strategies outlined above have concentrated on reducing your expenses. However, focusing on building wealth is the best way to improve your finances.
One of the best ways to do this is through investments in stocks, shares, bonds, and ETFs, particularly if your goal is to build long-term wealth. However, it can be difficult to know how to start if you are a novice.
For this reason, it is worth talking to expert online brokers like Moomoo, who can provide you with invaluable assistance to take your first steps into investing in financial markets.
Get a Side Hustle
Whether that be freelancing on platforms like Upwork, selling products they made at markets, doing odd jobs like lawn mowing, or running a monetized blog, it can be a lucrative way to generate more revenue.
The good thing about having a side hustle is that it can often reduce the amount of money you would spend doing other activities. Additionally, if it becomes a successful undertaking, you may even be able to quit your regular job to focus full-time on improving its profitability!
Ask for a Pay Rise!
If you have been working at your company for a while and your responsibilities have increased beyond the scope for which you were hired, it might be time to ask for a raise.
Many businesses are finding it hard to attract quality talent to the organization. So, if you have received positive feedback for your work, you are well within your rights to ask for more money.
It is a good idea to look at the pay rate offered on websites like Seek for roles similar to the ones you do. That way, you can approach your management with firm information about what your rate of pay is like in relation to the industry standard.
If you make noises that you might be looking to leave if your reasonable demands are not met, they might be more willing to meet them just to keep a valuable and knowledgeable employee.
Get a New Job
If your bosses don’t play ball or if you don’t fancy the hassle of asking, you should not be afraid of getting a new job.
Often, this simple act can secure you a hefty increase in salary. In addition, they may even be able to offer other benefits that can improve your bottom line, such as reduced travel costs – especially if it is nearer to where you live or you can work from home.
Try to find a company that sells you good promotion prospects during your interview. This will naturally lead to further increases in salary. Also, look for one that offers stock options that can allow you to make money if they perform well.
There are several health reasons why you should quit smoking. But if you are a 20-a-day smoker spending on average $40 for a pack of smokes every day, you could save a whopping $14,600 just by quitting.
Navigating the financial challenges of 2024 requires a multifaceted approach that balances prudent spending with strategic investments and income diversification. By adopting the strategies outlined above, from reevaluating your spending habits and cutting unnecessary expenses to making smart investments and exploring additional income streams through side hustles or career advancements, you can significantly improve your financial health.
Remember, the journey to financial stability is not just about making one-time changes but also about cultivating a disciplined mindset and consistent efforts toward your financial goals. Whether saving on everyday expenses, reducing debt, or investing in your future, each step you take moves towards a more secure and prosperous financial future.
Embrace the challenge, stay committed to your goals, and watch your efforts pay off through increased wealth and financial freedom.