trouble managing money

How to Be Smart with Money by Setting SMART Goals

If you’re having money struggles – you’re not alone by a long shot. Most Americans are in the same boat, trying to figure out how to be smart with money so that they can build a better financial future.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind – you don’t get to be smart with money overnight. Figuring out how to be smart with money takes time and dedication. And the best way to tackle it? Setting smart goals, you’ll take on one by one.

Here are 5 smart goals we think are essential to becoming better at finances. Go through them one by one and by the end of it, you’ll find you’ve gotten much better at the “how to be smart with money” thing. We also explain how title loans can help in an emergency.

How to Be Smart with Money: 5 SMART Goals to Pursue

1. Getting on a Budget that Sets Right Priorities

Budget is the best money-management tool around. If you truly wish to become better at managing money, you need to get on a budget. But not just any budget – a budget that sets the right priorities.

All your expenses – needs, savings, wants – should be covered in your budget. And the objective is to spend less. Even if you can afford to spend more money on certain things, ask yourself – should you?

2. Mindful Spending

If you truly wish to learn how to be smart with money, the first thing you need to learn is how to spend money wisely. Sure, you could put $200 for groceries in your weekly budget, but should you?

Being smart with money means spending only as much as you can get away with – even if you can afford to spend more.

For example, when it comes to food – buy generics at Walmart instead of brand names in Whole Foods, stock your freezer and pantry with foods on sale, get on a meal plan.

3. Having a Well-Funded Emergency Fund

If you had to set only one goal from this entire list, having an emergency fund should be a priority. An emergency fund is often what stands between people and financial crash.

It is what helps you cover larger emergency costs that can’t be covered from your paycheck even if you readjust the budget or cover ongoing financial obligations, even if you lose your job. A well-funded emergency fund should cover around 6 months’ worth of expenses.

4. Paying Off Debt the Smart Way

If you have any debt – figure out the least painful way of paying it off in your particular situation. For some, it could be going scorch-earth and paying it off as fast as possible. For others, it could be consolidating debt and putting only one monthly payment towards it all.

For some, it could be negotiating the monthly payments (you can use an app like Trim to find out which bills you can negotiate).

5. Taking Care of Retirement

And last, but not least, you need to set the long-term goal – where do you want to be when you retire? How much money do you need?

The money you save monthly for your emergency fund should start going into your retirement when the emergency fund is all set.

Not only that, but you should keep increasing the contributions when more money is coming your way. And, if your employer offers contributions – never turn them down, even if you’re paying off the debt. Saying no to free money is certainly not smart.

How to Deal with an Emergency without Savings?

title loan cash

Here’s the thing – even if you figure out how to be smart with money and start diligently working towards your goals, life might put a wrench in your plans.

Emergencies happen, and they hardly care if you’ve saved up enough to comfortably deal with them when they happen. So, if you get hit by one, you need to consider all the aspects and decide on the best course of action to take. Keep in mind that some problems could escalate and cost you more in the future, if you postpone dealing with them. Learning about long-term consequences is an important aspect of learning how to be smart with money.

If you’re having a medical, home, or car emergency, then you’re better of getting a title loan, dealing with it ASAP, and paying off the loan later, rather than waiting for the problem to solve itself.

Why Is a Title Loan An Option?

A title loan is an option when you’re in an emergency, since it’s accessible and fast. Unlike bank loans, Tennessee Title Loans, Inc. will accept any kind of income, and you can apply for a title loan even if your credit is bad (or outright nonexistent) and still be eligible for approval.

As long as you’re over 18, own a car, and it’s title is in your name and without any outstanding loans and judgments against it – you’re eligible for a title loan.

How Do I Apply for a Title Loan?

Applying for a title loan is simple. You can start the process online by filling out an online form found on our website and filling it out. A Tennessee Title Loan, Inc. representative will then contact you and set up a face-to-face meeting.

You’ll need to bring:

  • Your car;
  • Your lien-free car title (in your name);
  • Your State-issued ID.

The loan representative will assess everything and determine if you qualify for the loan. If approved – you’ll get the money the same day. The best part? This entire process takes on average around 30 minutes.

Apply for Your Title Loan Today!

It is possible to gain financial stability and freedom if you learn how to be smart with money, and the SMART goals given above can help you develop this skill.

However, in times when these goals haven’t been achieved yet, and an emergency is forcing you to act fast, applying for a Tennessee title loans online might be your best bet. You can also visit one of our Tennessee title loan locations to see how much you could qualify for!

Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.

Louis Tully

Louis Tully is a full-time finance writer offering financial expertise to everyday consumers. He understands the core values of finance and used his writing talents to share his own experiences with money to his readers. His articles teach how financial failures can easily become successes by making new habits and creating realistic goals.