I don't have to tell you this, but money matters. Even if you consider yourself a card-carrying minimalist who thinks "materialism" is a dirty word, you need money to exchange for goods and services, like rent and food and the shirt on your back. Your financial goals shouldn't be to keep up with the Joneses, but you should have a good idea of what it costs to maintain your lifestyle—whether that's backpacking through the countryside or investing in high-dollar real estate—and a plan for the future.
It's far too easy to let your finances fall by the wayside as you're managing all the other areas of your life. But now is as good a time as ever to get back on track. Do you have a budget? Is your spending under control? Do you have a plan for the future, and more importantly, are you on track to making it happen?
Find Harmony at Home
In order to bring your life into balance, it can help to see a top-down, bird's-eye view.
Once you see that your financial picture isn't as clear as you'd like, put your money where your mouth is and get started with one of these resources.
To make a budget...
- Start with this money menu: A Pick-and-Choose Three-Course Plan to Getting Your Finances in Order
- Tailor your budget to your life: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating a Budget
- Get your head in the game: The Best Books to Read When You're Ready to Get Serious About Your Finances
- Take expert advice: The Budgeting Methods Smart Finance Bloggers Swear By
- Make room for your life goals: You Can Use a Money Jar to Reach Your Goals (and Save While You Are At It)
To slowly move the net worth needle...
- Make small adjustments: Tiny Tasks to Give Your Future a Boost
- Remember the big picture: 5 Things You Can Do Every Month to Move Your Net Worth Needle
- Make a plan for the future: The Financial Milestones to Aim for Before You're 30
To curb your spending...
- Banish bad habits: 10 Little Ways You're Robbing from Yourself Without Realizing It
- Go offline: How to Trick Yourself Into Spending Less Money Online
- Give yourself a break and say goodbye to guilt: A Small Spending Truth that Everyone Needs to Hear
- Negotiate your ass off: How to Negotiate Your Rates with Cable Providers, Credit Lenders or Anybody Who Will Listen
To pay down your debt...
- Cut down your credit balance: How To (Finally!) Slash Your Credit Card Debt This Year
- Attack your student loans: 3 Tricks for Finally (!!) Paying Off Your Student Loans
- Find make-it- happen motivation: Strategies that Helped 9 Real People Smash $475,000 of Collective Debt
To save more money...
- Hack a saving system: Save More in 2017 with these 52-Week Money Challenge Hacks
- Get creative: 25 Creative Ways to Save Money This Year
- Choose a Challenge: 5 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Saving Money
- Don't underestimate the piggy bank: How Using a Piggy Bank Can Be a Legit Savings Plan
- Make a low-impact plan: How to Trick Yourself Into Saving Money Without Even Noticing It's Gone