Here’s a post that I never thought I’d ever write: how to manage your money wisely!
I mean, I’ve been in control of my personal finances for years now and I have a couple of tried and true tips to help you guys keep to your budget and save some extra cash for emergencies/fun trips! Even though I had a meager income through my college years, I’ve been able to put aside a significant amount of money every year just by following simple steps.
Tip 1: Write it out
Seriously. Take an index card or a piece of paper that you’ll save. Write your income, whether it’s every quarter, month, or 2 weeks. If you’re a tech person, create a spreadsheet on your computer. Make sure to deduct all of your fixed expenses – rent, utilities, cellphone bills, car insurance, etc. Then estimate how much money you actually need for another crucial essential, food. I always set aside money in my budget for tithe and savings, too. It’s important to me to have some sort of fund for emergencies, fun trips, or a super cute pair of shoes! Don’t forget to include fun things! Budgeting isn’t about restricting yourself and removing all the fun, it’s about regulating your finances so you don’t have to worry!
Tip 2: Be Consistent
Once you’ve set your budget, make every effort to live within your means! This may mean reading your budget every week to remind yourself of the goals you’ve set. This may take the form of carrying cash only to avoid charging your cards too much. Whatever it takes, stick to your guns!
Tip 3: Check your Accounts
Ever have a trip to the store where you know you’ve spent way more than you should? Ever felt “scared” to check your account balance? Yup. We’ve all been there. Before you make that trip to Target, stop at your laptop and pull your financial info up. I’m in the habit of checking my bank statements every day, just to remind myself of what I have available and how I’m progressing. This isn’t penny pinching, it’s just being a good steward of your investment and hard work!
Tip 4: Take Inventory
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the store and bought something that I already had in my pantry or closet! It’s always a good idea to give your fridge or shelves a glance before you head out to shop for the week. When trying to put together a cute outfit for a soirée, go shopping in your closet before forking over your hard earned cash! Like me, you’ll be surprised at the stuff you have already!
Tip 5: Plan Ahead
Want to take a cruise or vacation? Need a new laptop or books for class? Don’t play defense with your money, take the offensive position! Take a chunk out of your monthly income and set it aside. Don’t be tempted to touch it, either! I often put my savings in a completely different account, just to avoid temptation! Even if you’re looking to have a cushion for when times are tough, plan ahead so that life can’t surprise you too much!
Tip 6: Reward Yourself!
Are you within your means? Are you on budget for the month? Get that extra tube of lipgloss or hair accessory, as long as it’s small and you’re not buying that sort of thing every time you go out. When buying more “frivolous” things, I always do my mental budget checks to make sure that what I’m getting won’t end up wrecking my plans. But if I’m doing the right thing and I want to give myself a treat, I go for it! When you’re budgeting well and able to buy stuff you want, it’s the most freeing thing in the world!
So tell me, do you have any budget tips? How do you make ends meet? Drop me a comment!