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Seven Ideas to Bootstrap Your Finances Right Now

Starting to put money aside always feels like an uphill battle. It’s much more comfortable to live without thinking about your finances. There are no clever tricks or get-rich-quick schemes that will work without any risk. In this article, we discuss seven different ways that you can bootstrap your finances quickly.

Below are seven ideas that everyone should practice to improve their financial situation. They might sound redundant and heard a million times, but it’s what simply works. If you are looking for a method to bootstrap your finances, these ideas are the way to go.

Start budgeting and tracking expenses to bootstrap your finances

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Budgeting is like making a road map for your future self. We’re more used to financial planning when it comes to companies. Their aim is to increase profits, so counting the money that is spent is more natural. However, you can look into your personal finances this way as well.

The first step when budgeting is making a list of your priorities. You will have to make compromises here. You can’t value every expense equally, so something will need to be cut. That’s why it’s best to start with smaller, realistic goals.

Don’t expect to start saving half of your income. This can be a great goal for the long term, but you will need some time to get there. How fast you will reach your goals depends on the balance between your income and expenses.

These are the most important metrics that need to be tracked. It’s often recommended to use a budgeting app, but it isn’t necessary. You can start simply with an Excel sheet, where you enter everything.

In fact, I see this option as superior to apps because you can start with a simpler, less detailed budget outline and then tweak it into something more sophisticated. Budgeting apps often overwhelm users with hundreds of functions. Unless you are already advanced, start with a simple data sheet.

Control “fun expenses”

It’s a common misconception that those who save cut on fun activities entirely. It might be the case, but it’s important to understand that it takes time to get there. The best course of action is to define how much you spend on entertainment as clearly as possible. Once you have a realistic number, start reducing it.

Streaming subscriptions, luxury clothes, bars, gaming – whatever is your ‘fun expense,’ define how much you are spending for it each month. Only then can you start thinking about ways to reduce such expenses and track how much they are decreasing.

Such a budgeting strategy can be applied to most other things, but I have highlighted ‘fun’ as the thing we tend to lose the most. It’s also important not to cheat and define honestly what is a fun expense and what isn’t.

Revise your debts to Bootstrap Your Finances

Debts are crucial for budgeting because they can pile up quite quickly because of interest rates. Taking on a debt might be a useful financial tool, but you must know how to control it. Each month, when budgeting, note how much debt you have and how much of it is interest.

For many small purchases, paying back faster means you spend less on interest. Noting down interest rates will give you some perspective, and each month, you can revise your debts. Of course, it’s very situational. Sometimes, it makes more sense to take on debt than pay the full price at once.

Ask for a raise (or change jobs)

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Asking for more money from an employer can be very uncomfortable. Studies show that more than half of workers never ask for a raise. But it’s the fastest way to improve your financial situation. If you don’t believe it, simply trust the numbers.

The chances of getting a raise grow exponentially for those who simply ask compared to those who don’t. If you invest some skill and start negotiating instead of asking, your chances will grow even more. If nothing works, changing jobs is the second best option.

Find additional sources of income

Everyone has some free time. If it’s not on weekends and evenings, it’s on your bus ride or on a sleepless night. The best way to cut less from your budget is to increase it during your free time. Most side gigs require you to have a skill or perform physical labor.

If neither of those is an option, there are still some ways to earn extra cash. Many daily earning apps without investment will allow you to stay at home in front of your phone or computer and earn money. The activities are various – virtual assisting, translating, answering surveys, CAPTCHA solving, software testing, bandwidth sharing, and many more.

Change transportation habits

An often overlooked expense is transportation. It’s usually treated as an essential, especially when it comes to your daily commute to work. But transportation is a habit. The way you are used to getting around the city might be changed into a cheaper option.

Cycling to work, for example, can help you be healthier and save on transportation. An initial investment is, of course, required, but any equipment you buy will cover its costs eventually. A similar logic applies when switching from a car to a bus metro. We rarely think about it, but it’s a great way to save money without losing much of our quality of life.

Purchase groceries in bulk

Buying packets of rice, potatoes, canned beans, or other long-lasting products in bulk can help you save a lot of money. Investing in a larger refrigerator to store things like meat, fish, or frozen vegetables can take this strategy to another level. It’s the simplest saving advice on this list. It saves not only money but also time.

Wrapping Up How To Bootstrap Your Finances

These seven ideas have one thing in common – they are all about controlling your finances. No one else will do it for you. You must start one step at a time. Don’t try to implement all of them at once. Start with budgeting and then work your way to more financial freedom. Good luck!

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