10 Useful Tips On How To Manage Your Money Better
At school, we’re taught many things. We’re taught mathematics, literature, physics, biology, art, graphic design, electronics and so on. But what is missing are life skills.
Life skills help us get through the day with little hassle. They contribute to a successful, productive and happy life. One of the most important life skills is how to handle money.
There are no school classes for financial management. The rule seems to be that, once you’re earning money, you’re expected to know how to manage your budget successfully without any help at all.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. Many of us grow into money issues, largely because we lack financial skills. But just because school didn’t teach you how to manage your money better, it doesn’t mean you can’t start learning now. Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to manage your money better.
Make A Budget
Do you have any idea how much money you spend each week on food, drinks, clothes, DVDs, online shopping and so on? Many of us don’t. We spend the money, hoping that payday will save us.
If you don’t have a clue how much you’re spending, it’s time to start drawing up a budget, so that you’re in control of your expenditure, and this is one of the most important tips on how to manage your money better.
To get motivated to do this, spend the next week tallying up all your outgoings. You might just be surprised.
Be More Conscious When Shopping
People who head to the grocery store without a shopping list or a clear idea of what they’re going to buy are much more likely to overspend. Such shoppers are emotional shoppers who decide they’ll have a bit of this and a bit of that. But they aren’t keeping a lid on what they’re spending, and it’s only when they arrive at the till that they realise how much it’s cost them.
Instead of being spontaneous, you should be a bit more conscious of what you’re buying. Write out a shopping list, look at prices, use coupons, weigh up cheaper alternatives.
Make A List Of Your Priorities
Your priorities will be the same as everyone else’s: Housing, food, bills.
After that, you need to prioritise the rest. You need to decide where the majority of your budget will be going; how much will be going on transportation (perhaps you could walk to work?), debt payments, entertainment, vacations, nights out, alcohol, and so on.
Think About How To Grow Your Money
If you want to have some savings and a bit of financial security, you need to think about how you’re going to grow your money. If you don’t think about this, that $50 in your savings account will stay at $50 for the next few months.
Investors take a different approach. They’re always thinking ahead. They save $500 a month and then think about how they can turn that into $1,000. They grow their money because they plan.
Buy Things You Need
How many times do we forgo buying the things we actually need because we’d rather buy something we want? Buying necessary stuff is kinda boring, so we often forget all about it and instead purchase another pair of shoes.
The key to actually buying something you need could be down to timing yourself. If you’ve decided that you need a new desk lamp, rather than sitting around wandering whether you really need it, give yourself half an hour to go out there and get it.
Don’t Play The Blame Game
Okay, so earlier we said how school is kinda to blame for not educating us enough about financial management. But it’s now time to stop playing the blame game and to accept that you’re in a rut of your own doing.
Blaming your partner, your mom and dad, or that company that made you redundant is not going to solve anything. Yes, your circumstances won’t entirely be down to you alone, but it is up to you to get yourself out of this pickle.
Be Satisfied With What You Have
One of the trappings of 2015 is that we live in a consumerist culture. We’re taught to buy into the idea that purchasing more stuff will make us happier.
The truth is that buying more stuff can make you unhappier, largely because there is no end to what you can buy. As soon as you purchase a new phone, another, better phone is released, and you want that too. Especially now that your friend has it!
Get out of this trap. You don’t need stuff to make you happier. Learn to be satisfied with what you already own.
“The things you own end up owning you” – Fight Club.
Identify Your Problem Areas
We all have weaknesses when it comes to spending. Some of us spend way too much on eating out during our dinner break at work, while others spend too much on alcohol at the weekends.
Whatever your problem areas, you need to identify them so that you can iron them out. Problem areas need to be separated from your priorities; they need to be cut from the team. Removing these leaks from your budget will soon help you save a bit more money.
Save On Your Bills
There are ways you can save on your bills. You might not realise it, but you can reduce your monthly electricity and gas bills by using less electricity and gas! Moreover, there are also cheaper firms you could consider using.
You should also think about the way that you pay for your Internet, telephone and cable TV packages each month. Is there something you could cut down on? Do you really need a subscription to the sports and movie channels? And how about Netflix? Do you need this?
Change Your Behaviour
Lastly, you need to consider changing your behaviour.
Do you rely on takeaway meals too often? You should learn how to cook; you’ll be amazed how many meals you can get out of just a few ingredients.
Do you have a season ticket at your favourite sports team? Consider instead going to just a handful of games each year.
Perhaps you make it a rule to dine out once a week with your partner? Consider doing something cheaper for date night instead.