Being good with your money is all about knowing what to look for in the numbers. Financial health and financial literacy make life so much easier. The weight of student loans and credit card debts amongst others is not something that you want to have to constantly worry about.
So many of us today live hand to mouth and find it hard to manage our finances; honestly, even those who don’t live hand to mouth have money management skills.
It all comes down to your spending habits and how well you track where your money goes. Most of us merely have an idea of what is in our checking accounts and we spend accordingly, but how many of us really know what’s being charged to our accounts on a daily or even monthly basis.
HERE ARE 7 HELPFUL TIPS TO HELP YOU MANAGE YOUR MONEY
- MONEY MANAGEMENT TAKES PRACTICE: Money management is a skill, and because this is not something taught in school or most homes, it’s one that will take practice to master. Be patient with yourself, find a method that works best for you, it has to become a part of your lifestyle.
- MONITOR YOUR MONEY: Because most of us have an idea of what is available for spending in our checking accounts, we don’t mind making a small purchase here and there; why would we, we know that whatever’s in the checking account can handle the purchase.
That grande latte at Starbucks that you drink 3 times a day is $3.56 a pop, which adds up to $219 a month. Tracking your spending is very important. This way you can see where you might have an opportunity to keep some money in your pocket.
- BUDGET YOUR MONEY: You may or may not find budgeting the most exciting thing to do, get over it! If you want to be able to manage your money you must master budgeting. When it comes to your financial goals, you not only need to make a list of all your monthly recurring expenses, you also need to make sure that what you are earning covers your expenses.
Then on top of that, you need to assign the rest of that money to a purpose, leave no penny unassigned. Budget, what goes to saving, what goes to funding your goals, and what goes to the emergency fund.
If going for drinks is something that happens each month, put it down as a recurring expense as well. Your budget is determined by your lifestyle, not what you want to spend on, but what you actually spend on.
- HAVE A CONTINGENCY: There can always be a chance that you spend over your budget in a month. We all know that things happen. However, you have to plan even for the unexpected. Your financial health is very important, treat it like it is. A contingency is something that can be written into the budget on a monthly basis and if you do not use the contingency for this month, it can be next month’s.
- NO NEW MONTHLY EXPENSES: When you get that email or that letter in the mail that says you prequalify for a new credit card, ignore it. Don’t start a new subscription before asking yourself if you need it or want it. Your financial goals should always come first. Sometimes we do so well with our budget or we come into some extra money, we suddenly start thinking about how we want to spend this ‘extra’ money.
- DON’T CHARGE IT TO YOUR CARD: Two sure ways to keep your credit card balance low is to not use it, or two to pay off the balance as soon as you charge the card. However, if you are a poor spender, a credit card can quickly become a lethal weapon against yourself.
Resist the temptation to charge your card for anything. If you run out of cash, ask yourself if you need to charge your card for an item or if you simply want to because it’s convenient. That interest rate on your credit card doesn’t go away.
- SAVE FOR BIG PURCHASES: At times these big purchases are the ones that we feel like we want to have immediately and so you swipe the credit card, don’t do that! If you have a big purchase you want to make, put it in the budget, create a savings plan for it.
Make payments to yourself on a weekly or monthly basis till you have what you need. Or if you find places in the budget where you can cut back, assign that money to your big purchase.