Have you ever made the “if only I had enough” sigh? If you’re like most of us, you know what it sounds like. It’s the sorrowful sound you make as you stare at the designer shoes or the big screen TV you want but simply can’t afford.

Fortunately, it’s not a hopeless situation. Even while your feet are up and the TV’s on, you can put the wheels in motion and give your financial situation a boost!

We’ve got some easy ways you can start improving your finances, simply by using your laptop or smartphone.

The important thing to remember is to take that first step, no matter how small it is. Once you’ve chosen an option to explore, do something to move forward, even if it’s just spending a few minutes downloading an app or learning some quick tips. Keep taking small steps forward to your goal and you’ll be there before you know it!

Got your laptop powered up or your phone ready in your hand? Are you relaxed? Good! Here we go:

1. Check your credit score

Your credit score affects your ability to get loans, apply for a credit card, and a lot of other things that involve your financial health. Before you embark on a plan to boost your bank account it’s a good idea to check your credit score to see your current financial situation. You can check and monitor your credit score for free at Borrowell.com.

If your credit score isn’t where you want it to be, you have a few options. You can explore getting a secured credit card or credit-builder loan to improve your credit score and create a rosier picture for your financial future. Learn more easy credit-building tips here. 

2. Connect to free financial advice

You probably enjoy spending an hour (or five) each day scrolling through social media feeds, so why not check out some channels that can fill your brain with great financial tips? Browse through these lists of financial blogs, YouTube channels, and Instagram accounts and make sure to bookmark, subscribe, and follow, and the ones that pique your interest. (And don’t forget to bookmark the great content on the Fresh Start Finance blog!) 

3. Track your spending

Five dollars here, seven dollars there...small purchases can add up to a lot of debt. And while it can be painful to review where the money went, it’s necessary to determine exactly how much you’re spending and where. Get into the habit of checking your bank statements online regularly, and consider a budget app to keep tabs on your purchases. 

4. Budget better (with apps)

If you’re like a lot of people, you already know why having a budget is a good idea but you’d rather clean your toilet with a toothbrush than go through all that effort. The good news is that budgeting is easier than you think. And there are some great tools out there such as budgeting apps. Download one of our recommended apps and get yourself set up before the end of your TV show!

5. Lower your monthly bills

Cable and cellular providers get a chunk of your change on a monthly basis. Take a few minutes to review how much you’re paying and whether it’s worth it. There are a few things you can do to lower your bills. For example, maybe you should request a new cell plan? Even if your contract isn’t up, your provider won’t want to lose you as a customer and will do its best to keep you happy. A quick phone call might result in a reduction. If you have cable, you can do the same, or even consider cutting the cord altogether (figuratively speaking). With all the streaming services available today, getting rid of cable entirely is becoming a more attractive option. And that brings us to our next point…

6. Manage your subscriptions

First, there was Netflix, then there was Spotify. Now you’ve lost count of all the streaming services you signed up for over the years. Well, there’s an app for that—and a calculator! Take a few minutes to put your streaming costs in check today!

7. Automate your savings

Have you ever heard the maxim “pay yourself first”? It’s a simple way to save—just sock away a little bit of money from each paycheck before you start spending it. You can make this process super easy by setting up an automatic bank transfer, which will take a predetermined amount (say, around $50) from your main account and toss it into a savings account every time you get paid. After a while, you won’t even notice that extra bit of diverted cash, and eventually, it’ll grow into a nice chunk of change. Log into your personal bank account profile or open your banking app to get started. It only takes 5 minutes!

Fresh Start Finance serves Canadians facing all types of credit situations with practical advice and credit-building solutions. We also offer quick-and-easy secured and unsecured installment loans to help you take those first steps to a better financial future. Apply today to see how we can help!