Crushing your financial goals for 2019 does not have to be complicated
The best way to get discouraged when it comes to money is to make unrealistic plans without really understanding your starting situation. Sure, every situation is unique but the process to improve your financial situation can be pretty much the same for everyone.
Below we are giving you our 4-step approach to make small changes in your finances that should have a meaningful impact at the end of the year.
1/ Understand your finances
To understand your finances, you need to understand that there are 2 categories. That's it! Only 2 categories.
One category is your income, covering all the incomes you are getting from your gig(s). That's money coming in.
The other category are your expenses covering your rent, car payment, student loans, gas, insurance, bills and all the rest. That's money going out.
To have more money at the end of the month, there are 3 potential solutions:
Start by taking a look at your bank statement to see how much you received vs how much you spend in January. Please do it right now. Yes, we'll wait.... You know if you received or spent anything out of the ordinary. Anything surprising? Regardless of what you see, it is safe to assume you probably want to do better either by saving more or by starting to save. And doing better starts with a plan.
2/ Make a plan
Now you understand your financial situation for January and want to improve your finances, let's plan ahead for the rest of the year.Increase your income
Your income is technically made of 2 parts:
One solution is to work more hours at the same pay. This will automatically increase your earnings but your health, family life or social life may take a toll and we are not a fan of this one.
The other solution is to work gigs that pay more or make more during these gigs. One way is to replace low-earning gigs by higher-paying gigs. house of gigs mobile app provides pay estimates to compare what gig usually pay and could be a good starting point to find something else. The other way is to make more in your gig. For example, eligible Uber drivers can get the Cargo box, offer snacks to their riders and earn up to $300 extra per month, with little additional efforts.
How about you start small and set a goal of $50 more per month (or an amount you think is realistic) for 6 months while trying not to work longer hours and see where you land?Reduce your expenses
Now have a look at your top 5 expenses for the month of January. What do you see?
Are there any fixed expenses where you are paying the same amount every month (rent, insurance, car payments, etc...)?
If that is the case, there is not a whole lot you can do right now to lower these expenses. However, you can start looking for alternatives right now so that you are prepared when the term is due. Can you find the same product, solution or service cheaper? Or can you find a better product, solution or service for the same price? For that Google is your friend. (Sure, we are your friends too but Google will have a few more options than us...)
Are there any variable expenses where the cost varies based on what you use (groceries, eating out, entertainment, gas, cable, etc...)?
If so, you can lower these costs today by doing less of it or none of it. Do you need to use your car to go to that convenience store around the block? Probably not, right? See in that list of expenses what you can reduce or eliminate without affecting your lifestyle. Do you think you could save $50 per month there without feeling it much? You bet!
3/ Check monthly to see how you are doing
Checking how you are doing once a year may not going to be very effective and checking it every day may not be possible so we'd recommend checking every month how you did in the previous month.Right after looking at your finances, we recommend asking yourself 3 questions every month:
Try to write your thoughts somewhere. That's your strategy.
4/ Make more ambitious goals
Assuming you are feeling comfortable with that new rhythm, you could set yourself more ambitious goals for the following 6 months. How about earning $100 more per month? How about working more hours at that higher-paying gig? How about trying a new approach with your customers to get more frequent and higher tips? And on the expenses side, look at what you don't really need or what you are paying too much for.
To summarize, our 4-step approach is simple. Understand where you are, make a plan on where you want to go, see where you got and see how high you can go! If there is anything else we can help with, feel free to connect with us on [email protected].
The house of gigs team
We're here for independent workers you.