Money is one of those things that is easier to get rid of than is to attain. Sometimes it isn’t about getting more but being sensible enough to make the most out of what you have and stretching your money in a way that helps you get the most out of your dime. Yes, easier said than done but with a bit of practice and some useful tips you will be set on your way.
First off, having a budget is always a good idea. It is important to be disciplined enough to put your money towards the most important bills before you decide you have enough money to spend on yourself. Personally, I feel the funds for your living space should be put aside before anything else; that roof over your head is your domain and comfort zone. Figuring what money needs to be allocated towards bills and other expenses such as gas, food, phone bill, credit cards etc. is the next step and will let you know how much you have left for your savings account as well as what you have left for your own personal shenanigans, if any. By the completion of your budget you have a clear idea where you stand with your finances.
This brings me to my next point; credit cards. These could be an expensive and slippery slope for many. You get a credit card, maybe for the first time or perhaps you already have a couple, you get excited and do a little shopping. The next thing you know your balance is up significantly and you cannot pay it off with your paycheck, or the even the one after that. As a result you are stuck paying ridiculous interest rates that you cannot afford. Don’t get me wrong, credit cards are beneficial if you can manage them and are responsible. In order to make a credit card worth it you must be patient and look for the best interest rates before signing anything and not just sign up because you received a request in the mail. Next, you must be able to pay off your entire balance before the due date in order to avoid unnecessary interest charges and if one month you cannot pay off the whole balance, you know that the effort you put into finding low interest rates will benefit you. Bonus is getting a rewards card so you can earn points on purchases you would make anyways and eventually redeem those points for goods and sometimes even cash. Knowing you are avoiding interest rates may leave you with extra money to add to a savings account.
Opening a savings account to stash some money is a great idea, I don’t know about you but if I see extra money in my personal account I am always tempted to buy myself a little unnecessary something that I could definitely do without. Having a savings account with limited access may be wise but do not simply settle with your current branch right off. Shop around for an institution that can offer you the best interest rate. There is no harm in looking, it only takes a little effort and besides, what is the point in paying more than you need to in order to manage your own money?
Once you open a savings account, have your budget lined up and a little money set aside you can invest! Do not shy away from this, sure if you have never dipped your toes in these waters it may be a little intimidating but there are people who are willing and available to sit down and set you on the investment path that is right for you, it starts with one meeting.
No one said managing your money would be easy but it is necessary. Starting with a financial consultant can put you on the right track and does not take much of you time. Know what to look out for so you don’t waste your money. Set your goals and budget and watch the process get easier. All you need to do so is set your mind to it and prioritize.