Some people have a hard time managing their finances effectively. If you count yourself among them, don’t despair. Being successful on the financial front really doesn’t require a quick fix. Rather it demands that you have a long-term plan for your money that you execute everyday. Here are three tips for managing your finances that could make all the difference to your bottom line.
1. Know Where Your Cash is Going
Those of you who have read Dave Ramsey’s book “Total Money Makeover” know that the best way to keep track of your finances is to tell them where to go. Basically, that means that you have a budget every month, and you “tell” each dollar where to go before you ever spend it. Dave calls this a "zero-based budget."
Set up an accounting ledger of sorts. Make sure you have categories for groceries, your rent or mortgage, your retirement, and your bills. Take a look at your pay stub to see how much you make each paycheck. Earmark the money for each bill plus savings until your paycheck goes down to zero. Do this every month.
2. Don’t Buy Clothes That Don’t Fit
This seems like a no-brainer, right? But it’s astonishing how many people will buy something because it’s on sale, thinking they can fit into it later. That winter coat you found on the clearance rack? Yeah, it’s useless if it cuts off the circulation in your arms. What about that pair of boots you want to get for your kid at the yearly ski boot sale? Unless you have a ski boot size chart or your kid handy, don’t buy them. Chances are, you’re going to be wasting your money on items that just aren’t right.
This principle goes for any piece in your wardrobe, too. You might have visions of fitting in that cute one-piece bathing suit or that size nine shoes (you’re a seven), but just don’t. Spend your money elsewhere or just save it for a rainy day rather than wasting it on purchases like these.
3. Determine Your Priorities
Bank of America suggests that you figure out what your short- and long-term priorities are when it comes to your money. If you don’t, you’re going to spend it on something frivolous. If you know you’ll need to save up for a car or to pay for your child’s college tuition in three months, acknowledge that. Write down your goals. Put them into your budget.
Then get a special savings account for that money so that you don’t spend it. Have more than one special account if need be, especially if you have several big goals like saving for a car and saving for retirement. Often we think we don’t have enough money to pay for something when we just haven’t made saving for that item a priority. According to U.S. News and World Report, unnecessary splurges - yes, this counts - are among the biggest ways you'll waste money if you're not careful.
Final Thoughts on Securing Your Finances
Good financial health doesn’t require a degree in rocket science. Rather, it requires that you have good spending and money habits everyday. This means that you need to know how much money you make and how it needs to be spent before it ever hits your wallet. Finally, good financial sense means that you don’t make purchases that you don’t need. Rather you save that money for a rainy day or spend it on something that you really do need.
really had a hard time managing my finances before, i even got my credit card maxed out because i am an impulsive buyer ( I admit). but glad that i got my way out of all that trouble and now i can say that i am managing my finances well.
2. don't buy clothes that don't fit. not only clothes, but also anything that you don't need. there's a huge difference in the things that we want and the things that we need, so better stick to the needs.
Free eBook from BiggerPockets!
Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!
- Actionable advice for getting started,
- Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
- Learn how to get started with or without money,
- Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
- And a LOT more.
Sign up below to download the eBook for FREE today!
We hate spam just as much as you
Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate
Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing