Earning your own money means you’re on your way to becoming an independent adult. You could pay rent, monthly utilities and other bills, as well as buy food and clothing.
The thing about money is that it’s quite hard to earn yet so easy to spend, and without proper money management, you may end up wondering where all your money goes each month.
Money management is more important than what people believe. Making ends meet doesn’t mean you have a good handle on your finances. Good money management means you’re able to pay all your bills on time, pay loans, buy the things you need to survive, and be able to set a small amount aside as savings. That said, here are some ways you can manage your finances better:
- Set Up a Budget: Taking control of your finances means setting a budget for everything. Budget is a word most people don’t like, but it will definitely help you become more financially stable. You will less likely be in debt or pay your debt sooner, you’ll have better credit rating, it will be easier to apply for a loan, and you’ll be able to save money for holidays with your family or buy a car.
When you start sorting out your budget, you will need to list down everything you pay for in a month. This means utility bills and living expenses. You may have to look into your utility bills and see where you can save money. Perhaps you can lower the electricity bill by following some energy-saving tips. Maybe you can cancel your gym membership for now and work out at home instead.
Technology has made it easier for people to manage their budget by using tools such as a budgeting app on the iOS and Android, which you can download on your smartphone. This way, you don’t have to take out your pen and paper each time you have to check if you could purchase something.
Follow the budget you have set for yourself, including food. If dining out on a Saturday night is not in your budget, perhaps you can ask your friends if you can all gather at someone’s house and cook dinner. It’s a lot cheaper and could fit in your budget.
- Pay in Cash or Debit Card: When you pay in cash, this means that you will only be spending money that you have. If you don’t have the money in the bank for something, then it’s better that you don’t buy it.
Almost everybody has a credit card and many have more than one. The thing about credit cards is that you can keep on buying things even if you don’t have the money for it. Your credit card will take care of it. It will be due the next month and you can pay a minimum amount. If you’re an impulsive buyer, you’ll be surprised at the amount you need to pay when you get your bill.
Credit card debt has worsened with online shopping. People no longer have to go to physical shops to get what they want. All they have to do is open a website and start buying.
Stop this right now. You should keep your credit cards and not bring them with you when you leave the house or, better yet, just cut them off and throw them away. Pay in cash or don’t buy anything that was not set in your budget.
- Save: No matter how much money you make, you need to set aside some of your money and put it in your savings account. It could be twenty bucks or a hundred bucks a month. It doesn’t always have to be a big amount. Twenty bucks can become a thousand before you know it.
Saving money should become a habit. When you’re used to setting aside even a small amount each month, it’ll become easier. If you need to earn some extra money in order to save more, here’s a beginner’s guide to taking online surveys from Teach Me! Personal Finance.
Managing your money is just as important as earning it. If you have no control on your spending habits, it doesn’t matter if you’re earning a lot or just minimum wage. You will never have financial security if you don’t check yourself. Planning ahead will give you and your family a better future. However, if you do not keep track of your money, you will never know why you can’t seem to save and why you seem to lack money each month, and have to rely on your credit card.