You have the power to decide where your dollars go and what dreams you can chase after.

money management is easy

“Achieving financial freedom, success and peace of mind is often the result of consistently doing many little things in the right way at the right time,” says Eric Hutchinson, a Certified Financial Planner and managing director at United Capital in Little Rock, Ark.

We rounded up five easy-to-implement habits that will improve your financial picture this month and in the future.

1. Increase your savings

Anytime you experience a windfall - perhaps you earned a bonus or got a raise - Barrett suggests putting it directly into your retirement savings. "If you can increase your contribution right away before your have time to event register that you have a raise, that's what really makes the difference," she says.

2. Imagine your future

Considering where you want to be down the road can help you make the right choices today, Weliver adds. While taking out insurance or funding retirement aren't the most exciting investments now, they could save you from financial challenges in the future.

3. Keep things simple

It's easy to feel overwhelmed with the various financial management choices you have, but the bottom line is that you need to save more and spend less to accumulate more wealth,

"The best way to shed the feeling of living on a tight budget is to cut spending while increasing your earning power." Erin Lowry, ​26, founder of BrokeMillennial.

4. Monitor your progress

This is your chance to recalibrate unrealistic goals, get even more aggressive with others—or stick to the status quo. “It isn’t necessarily about making changes,” Hutchinson says. “Just as with a physical at your doctor’s office, a regular review of your finances matters, too.”

5. Shop with a list

Whether you’re heading to the grocery store or to the mall, scribbling down a list will help you save money by avoiding those tempting items that seem to call out to you in the store, but that you don’t actually need.


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