5 Ways to Improve Your Financial Plan

(StatePoint) Spending too much and saving too little? Getting out of your current financial rut can feel daunting without the right habits and tools. Here are five ways to improve your financial plan now.

1. Set goals. What do your plans include? A car or house? An expensive getaway? Long-term retirement savings or a college fund for your children? Start by identifying your goals clearly. Then, figure out how to get there.

2. Plan smarter, not harder. The right tools on-hand can make the business of financial planning easier. Consider such tools as a multi-functional desktop printing calculator, such as Casio’s HR-150TMPlus, which features a 12-digit easy-to-read display and can print 2.4 lines per second. With two-color printing in red and black, exchange calculation and tax calculation, it can help you stay organized and accountable.

3. Follow the money. Take a deep look into your spending habits. While A $5 cup of coffee or a lunch out with coworkers may not seem like much at the time, indulging in these expenditures five days a week will really add up over time. Think of all the money that can be put towards savings by making small changes to everyday habits. For example, pick one or two days a week to enjoy a lunch out with friends, but bring your own lunch the other days of the week. Skip the pricey latte and get yourself a thermos, so you can enjoy coffee brewed at home on your commute.

4. Analyze your expenses. New apps and websites that connect to all your finances, including bank accounts, savings, credit cards, student loans and more, can help you track your expenses and create and manage budgets. Graphs and charts help you understand all facets of your finances, so you can be more in tune with where your money is going, helping you navigate a plan to use it more wisely.

5. Make a change. Want to put your money to good, long-term use in a way that won’t put a strain on your wallet? A selection of apps automatically round-up the leftover change from purchases made by you with your debit cards, and puts that change towards something else — like student loans or investments.

About Shelby Harrell

Shelby Harrell is the news editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for more than six years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.