1. Increasing your savings rate can help you improve your financial standing. Now is the time to start thinking about contributing the maximum amount to your company-sponsored retirement plan, like a 401(k). If that is something you are already doing, then consider opening an IRA.
2. Track your spending with apps such as Mint, or LearnVest. These apps monitor your splurges and daily expenses, and help you set a monthly budget. Not only will they send you reminder messages that you’re closing in on your spending maximum, but they can help you categorize your expenditures as well as your monthly spending rate.
3. Automate your finances, starting with your checking and savings accounts. Set aside a sustainable portion of your paycheck that goes directly into your checking account, and a portion that is sent straight into your savings or towards a high-interest-rate debt. Next, focus on your bills. Identify bills that cannot be paid automatically like tuition, memberships, or a mortgage.
4. Set clear and attainable financial milestones by planning payment date goals that you wish to achieve in order to eliminate your debt. This will keep your long term financial goals in the forefront of your mind as you consider other expenses, letting you to see what is most important to you and where you’re money is really going.