Time and again you encounter money problems. You blame it on the circumstances. You tell yourself: “Hey, it’s not my fault why the plumbing has broken down.” However, has it dawned on you that maybe you are not handling you finances, right? That maybe, if you have saved some money for emergencies; you can use that amount you saved to have the leaks repaired?

Instead of putting the world at fault, why not take charge? Tell yourself to prepare for what’s to come. Start saving and investing. Sure, you can rely on payday loans to fix short term money troubles but it would be much better if you know how to put a lid on your incessant spending. Here are some of the things you can do to be on track when it comes to serious money matters:

Be informed

One of the main reasons for most money woes is the public’s lack of financial literacy. Most do not know the importance of saving, its relation to expenses and how to properly invest. There are a lot of avenues for investing; it takes diligence however to do research and know which one is safe or is more preferable than the other.

Take Action

Financial literacy does not end in just knowing and understanding the existing processes. It is imperative to apply it in your life. You could have read tons of self-help books about saving and managing expenses, but if you don’t apply it – nothing will happen. Your status will never improve. Whatever the good and the best practices that you have learned, do it now. Apply it readily.

Have Discipline

Most of the valuable things in life are achieved through discipline. You have to stick to your plan. Imagine this; you have saved a lot of money for the past six months, and you intend to put this as your emergency fund. But after passing by a sale at the mall, you see a flat screen TV and you buy it on impulse using what you first intended as an emergency fund. Friend, you will be back to step one—to zero. All of the months’ worth of saving and planning was wasted. Financial literacy requires a lot of discipline.

Know Your Income and Expenses

How would you manage something that you don’t know? It seems silly at first to say that you do not know your salary, but in reality, this happens to a lot of people. Most do not know how much they are really earning and how much they are spending on a monthly basis. In short, you do not keep a budget list. You must know where your money is going. If it seems vague to you as to where most of your expenses lie, try having a small notebook or a note in your mobile phone. Every time you pay for something, write it down. At the end of the month, check which one is the most expensive or which has the most frequency. By then you’ll know the items that you could tone down or remove.

Most of the above-mentioned items are really just about managing your habits. It all boils down on what you know, if you apply it and if you are aware of what’s casing your problems. Maybe you’ve heard this a dozen times; that money is a tool and that you must use it wisely. You need money to live. It can’t be helped that in the meantime you’ll opt for payday loans to help you out with short term expenses, but truly your future self will thank you if you take small steps towards financial freedom.