No matter your age or situation, financial decisions of today will impact your future. Starting a few good habits today can put you on track for not only financial stability, but financial success. It isn’t always easy, but every good choice will put you one step closer to the financial freedom coveted by many, but achieved by few. Get started now with a few simple steps to gaining control over your money.

Pay Yourself First
The number one financial step is simple: pay yourself first. You can set up either a separate direct deposit by your employer or automated transfers to a savings account. If you don’t have to concern yourself with ensuring that you get paid, you can save time and frustration, especially with inconsistent banking hours.

Budgeting is the obvious, and often dreaded, first step in getting control of your finances. There are unlimited apps and websites dedicated helping you create a personalized budget. Find the right one for you and stick to it. If you prefer the more traditional method, just sit down with a pen and paper and list out all your bills and expenses for the month. Don’t forget the miscellaneous little expenses that tend to slip thru the cracks (your daily vending machine visit or sporadic google play charges). Once your budget is in place review it regularly and adjust as needed. You’d be surprised how easy it is to give up unnecessary expenses once you see the overall impact they have on your bottom line.

Set Goals
Budgeting alone will not keep you on the right track if you have no end goal in sight. Write down what you are working to achieve. Whether you are dreaming of paying off debt, saving for the down payment on your dream house or thinking of quitting your job to do something you truly love, it is the goal that will keep you motivated when you are tempted to give in and swing by Starbucks on the way to work.

Say No to Impulse Purchases
There are numerous tactics on keeping impulse buying in check. You can elect to carry cash, keeping cards locked away in a place where it takes a great deal of conscious effort to access. Remove your card numbers from apps and websites where you are able to purchase items with the click of a button.

There is no one size fits all financial solution, but starting with these basics steps will help you gain ground and motivate you to stay on track.