10 Ways to Take Control of Your Financial Life Today

By Michelle Clardie on 02/27/2024.
Reviewed by Dan Gatsby .
Have you ever felt powerless or out of control? 

In an unpredictable world, we can’t control everything. Sometimes it feels like nothing is going your way. It may even feel like the universe is conspiring against you at some points. The good news is that there are many things we can control. And by focusing on what we can control, we can better prepare ourselves to successfully handle unexpected circumstances as they arise.  

You often hear successful people say things like “The harder I worked, the luckier I got.” Taking control of the things you can affect will set you up for success when things break your way and help you weather the storm when they don’t.

Finance is one of those areas where your choices and behaviors can have a major impact on your results, even when unexpected circumstances pop up. 

So let’s take a look at the things you can’t control, and the things you can. Then we’ll show you 10 ways to take control of your financial life today!

5 Things You CAN’T Control 

Some things are simply outside your control. Trying to control these things will make you feel even more helpless. 

Consider the following list of examples:

  1. Macroeconomic trends. National and global economics are driven by a complex combination of forces that cannot be controlled by an individual.
  2. Natural disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and wildfires can come on without warning and wreak financial havoc. 
  3. Genetics. Everyone has hereditary strengths and weaknesses. This can play a part in your financial life by influencing your health, particularly as you age. Health issues can be extremely costly.  
  4. Time. You might be able to control what you do with your time, but you can’t slow it down, reverse it, or fast-forward it. One of the most common regrets of seniors is that they waited too long to begin investing. But you can’t go back in time.   
  5. Accidents. Random events are unpredictable by definition. Unforeseeable accidents can occur even with careful planning and execution. 

7 Things You CAN Control

While you can’t control everything, you do have agency to control many aspects of your life, including:

  1. Mindset. You can actively decide to be positive and practice resilience. 
  2. Health habits. Taking care of our physical and mental well-being by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep directly impacts our energy levels and long-term health.
  3. Work ethic. Hard work, dedication, and effort will impact our success, achievements, and careers. 
  4. Time management. We can set our priorities and invest our time accordingly. 
  5. Financial habits. Budgeting, saving, investing, and spending habits, are all behaviors we can control. 
  6. When to stay and when to go. Leaving relationships, jobs, or other situations that don’t serve you is your prerogative. 
  7. Critical thinking. You can explore your options, assess risk and reward, and make choices that align with your values and lifestyle. 

By focusing on what you can control, you can enhance your overall well-being and navigate life's uncertainties more effectively.

10 Ways to Take Control of Your Financial Life Today 

Keeping in mind the things you can control, here are 10 actionable ways to take control of your financial life today:

  1. Set clear financial goals. Define your short-term and long-term financial goals. Prioritize goals based on your values and the lifestyle you want to build for yourself.
  2. Create a budget. Establish a budget that tracks your income, expenses, and savings. Categorize spending to identify areas where you can cut back without much sacrifice.
  3. Improve your credit score. Having a good credit score means you can get favorable interest rates, which ultimately saves you money. Set up automatic payments so you never miss a payment date. Over time, this simple step will improve your credit score.
  4. Reduce high-interest debt. Prioritize paying off high-interest debts, such as credit cards. Consider contacting your creditor or debt consolidation service to see if you can arrange a debt repayment plan that works better for you.
  5. Carry appropriate insurance. Insurance is a risk management tool that can protect you against financial losses. This is especially valuable when it comes to factors you can’t control.
  6. Start saving and investing. Build an emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of living expenses. This fund acts as a safety net when unexpected expenses inevitably come up. Then you can shift your focus to investing for financial growth. Start as soon as possible to take advantage of compound interest. Don’t forget to diversify your portfolio to spread risk across multiple investment types and maximize returns.
  7. Live below your means. Distinguish between your needs and wants. Focus on covering your essential expenses first, such as housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation. Then add in the wants that matter most to you. Avoid spending on non-essentials that don’t bring you real joy. The rest of your income should be invested in assets that appreciate over time.   
  8. Create multiple income streams. Explore ways to generate additional income, such as side hustles or investments with cash-flow potential. With passive income investments, you can take the money you’ve earned and put that money to work for you. Diversifying your income sources leads to increased financial stability and resiliency.
  9. Educate yourself. Learn more about personal finance and investing. This will help you make informed decisions that serve your goals. 
  10. Practice patience and discipline. Building financial freedom takes time. Stay disciplined in adhering to your financial plan, even during market fluctuations. Avoid making emotional decisions. 

Financial freedom is a journey, not a destination. Consistent effort, discipline, and informed decision-making will contribute significantly to your financial well-being over time. Eventually, you may even be in a place to provide generational wealth to your children and grandchildren.

When you’re ready to learn more about investing, Gatsby Investment is here to help! You can learn more about real estate investing and choose passive investments that align with your goals. Real estate investing has never been so accessible! And by taking control of your investments, you can directly impact your future financial position. 

Investment opportunities