4 Steps to Get Your Finances in Control This Year

Every year, millions of people worldwide declare that this is the year they get their finances under control. And every year, most people fail before they have (really) started.

That is because keeping one’s finances in check is not a quick process, and people set unrealistic goals that quickly leave them feeling unenthused and defeated. Don’t let that be you.

From monitoring your current spending habits to using mobile banking Dubai services, read on for the four steps you need to take to get your finances in control this year.

1. Make Monitoring your Money a Weekly Activity.

No matter where you currently stand with your finances, if you are going to get them in control this year, you need to get in the habit of regularly monitoring them. This includes monitoring your income (the amount you earn monthly), your expenses (the amount you spend every month), your savings (how much you put away), and your credit score.

You need to know where you stand when it comes to these aspects in order to make budgets and goals that work for you.

Each week, you want to check your account statements to take an inventory of where you are spending and monitor your monthly cash flow — what’s coming in and what’s going out.

Once you have done this for a couple of months, you will be able to see where you can make changes, reduce costs and increase savings, and any other issues or challenges standing between you and financial freedom.

2. Create a Budget that Works for You

Budgeting is key to financial freedom; however, your budget will only work if it is specifically created for you and your lifestyle.

One of the main reasons why budgets often fail is because they don’t align with an individual’s reality. Your budget should be unique to you; what works for your friend, partner, or financial blogger you follow isn’t necessarily going to work for you.

Therefore, you want to remember that it takes time to create a good budget, and you need to be flexible with yourself. While ultimately budgeting can help you cut back on expenses and spend your money more mindfully, it won’t do this immediately.

So if you find yourself coming in over budget or under budget in a specific category (or multiple categories), focus on adjusting your spending in each category one-by-one.

From there, you will be in a better place to define your spending priorities based on your current financial circumstances, your savings goals, and what brings you the most joy.

Some people have a bigger housing or transportation budget, while others prefer to reduce how much they allot to clothes and shift that money to books. Whatever it looks like for you, the purpose of having a budget is to help you feel in control and empowered by your personal finances.

3. Utilize Mobile Banking

The available technology makes it easier than ever to stay on top of your finances, as long as you are using all the tools that are offered.

First and foremost, you want to ensure you are banking with an establishment that offers mobile banking. This is crucial because you want to have your bank’s mobile app and online channels available to fulfill all your banking requirements quickly, conveniently, and securely.

Some of the most significant benefits of mobile banking include being able to access your accounts 24/7 and optimizing your money through spending alerts, automated savings, and automatic bill payments.

Additionally, mobile banking is incredibly secure and lets you see your whole financial standing with just a few clicks. Many banks allow you to deposit checks through their mobile app, activate a new card, and send money to other people’s accounts directly.

At the end of the day, mobile banking is specifically designed to aid you in your money management, so you want to make sure you are taking advantage of it!

4. Opt for Cards that Bring you all the Benefits.

Cards can sometimes have a bad reputation; however, they should be viewed (and used) as a tool to help you reach your financial goals.

There are so many cards on the market, making it challenging to know which one is right for you. Therefore, in order to find the right one, you need to understand your options, ask the right questions, and determine which card is most suitable for your lifestyle and spending habits.

Generally, most credit cards can be divided into three categories: those that help you improve your credit, those that save you money on interest, and those that help you earn rewards. By finding credit cards designed to meet your specific needs, you will be able to use them as a tool, rather than having them ‘use’ you.

For example, if you are always traveling, you may be interested in getting a travel card. On the other hand, if you rarely travel and instead spend most of your income on groceries for the family, the best travel card available will not be a lot of use for you.

Alternatively, if you have to make government payments, then the best government payment card in the UAE is the way to go.

These CBD eDirham cards can be applied for through CBD.ae as long as you have an Emirates ID, a passport or visa copy, and a trade license for your signature. You can then use these cards to make payments at government entities, both at physical locations and online channels.

Final Thoughts

Getting your finances in control is not something that is going to happen overnight – it is a long-term plan and strategy.

Instead of trying to change all your spending habits overnight, start by setting yourself achievable goals. Then, once you have accomplished those, you can add a new one. Being consistent with your savings and your money management will get you far, as long as you are banking with an institution that is always there to help you.

What are your financial goals for this year? Are you already doing any of these steps, or are you looking to implement them over the next few months? Which aspects of money management do you find the most difficult?

Let us know your thoughts and any additional questions or tips you have in the comments below!

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About Bernd van Linder

Dr. Bernd van Linder is the CEO of Commercial Bank of Dubai. His comprehensive view of banking comes from a long career in treasury, risk management, and strategic operations — all essential aspects to leading an efficient and profitable bank. Over the decades, CBD has transformed into a progressive and modern banking institution, and today offers a full range of financial services to help customers build and manage their finances.
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