Everyone likes to have money, but not everyone’s paychecks are as full as they wish they are. What do you do when you want to save up for your goals, but you’re working on a fixed income? Financial planning. Plotting out how to spend your money and where every dollar goes can put you way ahead of the game and help you save more than you thought possible. Whether you’re looking at financial planning for small business owners or how to set up a retirement account for an individual, knowing the basics of how to effectively manage your money can go a long way to ensuring your future success.

Set a Budget

Most people live paycheck to paycheck, which means you need to know how to stretch your dollars over two weeks’ time. Budgeting is a great way to track your spending and make sure you’re putting a little bit in your savings account each month. Take an inventory of how much your mandatory monthly expenditures are: utility bills, rent/mortgage, internet costs, gas, car note, groceries, etc. Once you have that number, subtract it from your total monthly income and see what’s left. Now you need to decide on a realistic savings goal for every month and take that amount from your remaining income. Anything left over after that can be used for incidentals or fun outings.

Reducing Costs

Another things most people have an abundance of is subscriptions. It might be to apps, websites, or streaming services, but you could be spending a lot more than you realize each month on services you don’t even use. There are some apps you can use to detect all of your subscriptions and help you to cancel them, or you can do it manually. Think about all the services you pay for and if you really need them to get by day to day. Do you have to have a prime music subscription or could you make it with the basic package? Is there a way to bundle any of your home costs to save money?

Clear Debt

Finally, you don’t want to forget about debt. This can affect your credit score and your overall financial health for years if left to sit in the shadows. Add in payments on any debts you have to each monthly income cycle so that you’re working on bringing down extra bills and eliminating unnecessary financial stress.