Follow This Easy 14-Day Plan to Finally Get Control of Your Money

I can feel it: 2016 is going to be the year you finally get on top of your finances.

But where should you start?

If you’re anything like me, you start thinking about all the things you have to take care of — from taxes to retirement to emergency savings — and then just go lie on the couch and eat ice cream.

Don’t lie on the couch and eat ice cream. Take action with this smart 14-day financial plan from Business Insider.

“#BIBetterMoney is a 14-day self-improvement plan designed for the busy professional, featuring a simple task a day for two weeks to help you take control of your money,” explains personal finance editor Libby Kane.

I read it, I liked it and I’m going to try it. If you want to join me, keep reading…

Clean Up Your Money Mess in 2 Weeks

With simple, easy-to-understand explanations, #BIBetterMoney lists 14 personal finance tasks you can complete over the next two weeks.

Though you should read the full post for all the details, here are a few that resonated with me:

Day 3: Add Up Your Debt

How are you going to figure out how to pay down your debt if you don’t know how much you have?

Take 20 minutes one day to track down all your debt, then input each loan and credit card into a free app like Mint — so you’ll always know exactly what you owe.

Read more…

8 Creative Things I Did to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Out of Debt: A Step-by-Step Plan

How to Pay off Student Loans Fast, With 11 Simple Strategies and a Calculator

Day 5: Decide What You’re Saving For

Many people skip this oh-so-important step when it comes to their savings.

You’ll never be successful at saving — rather than spending — money if you don’t know what you’re going to use it for.

Personally, I’m always saving for travel, but perhaps you want to buy a house or a new pair of shoes. Visualizing your goals makes them so much easier to achieve.

Read more…

Need a Vacation? 10 Creative Ways to Save for Your Next Big Trip

Think You Can’t Afford to Buy a House? Bet You Didn’t Think of This Program

Love Shopping, Hate the Bill? 20 Clever Ways to Save Money on Clothes

Day 7: Make Saving Automatic

This step has been H-U-G-E for me.

I didn’t save a dime before I set up automatic withdrawals from my checking account into my retirement fund.

Now, I save each month and don’t even notice the money is gone. Two other awesome tools are Acorns and Digit.

Start small, but be consistent. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your savings grow!

Read more…

Zero-Based Budgeting: When Living Paycheck to Paycheck Is a Smart Move

4 Simple Ways to Save Money Without Thinking About It

How to Save a Million Dollars When Your Job Sucks

Day 8: Find One Way to Earn More

You know we’re all about earning more (and not just spending less) here at The Penny Hoarder.

Ever since I was young, I’ve had a side gig in addition to my regular job.

That “hustle money” has not only allowed me to go on some amazing trips, it helped me launch my freelance writing business, which eventually led to my writing this very post!

Read more…

29 Smart Ways to Make Money on the Side in 2016

32 Legitimate Ways to Make Money at Home

21 Side Jobs That Pay More Than $20 an Hour

It’s a new year — don’t wait any longer to take control of your money.

Click here to read the whole #BIBetterMoney plan and improve your finances in 2016!

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.