As much as we might want to take on the “hippie life,” we have to admit that money dictates pretty much everything in our life. We need money to buy food, to pay rent, to go see a movie – we need money for everything.
However, money does not fall from the sky. We work hard for it, which means that every penny matters – so we can’t just blow it on the first thing we see in a store. We need to manage our finances properly, so we don’t end up having “too much month at the end of our money.”
Here’s a checklist of a variety of steps that you need to go through in order to improve your finances.
Track Your Expenses
To be a personal finance master, you need to know exactly where all of your money goes. With today’s technology, you can easily find a spending tracker app like Money Lover that could help you straighten things out. Record your spending everyday and list them in category, then you will have a picture of your financial status.
Plus, it’s easier to avoid overspending and save money if you have a visual of your income, as well as your expenses.
Make Your Budget
Once you know what your income is and how much money you need where, it will be much easier for you to create your budget. In order to do that, you’ll need a list of various categories.
This can include money for rent, money for bills, money for living expenses, money for the occasional entertainment, and whatever else you deem necessary. This will make it easier for you not to overspend.
If you do not know where to start budgeting, refer to 50/30/20 rule - a simple budgeting method for beginners.
Save For Retirement
Sure, as long as you have a salary, you can live out your days by accessing your monthly income. However, if you are retired, your working days are gone – and you are left only with your retirement savings.
Typically, around 4% to 10% of your salary gets directed automatically to your savings account (it’s the taxes that we all have to pay). However, if you have the possibility, you can also contribute personally to that account. This way, you’ll have less to worry about when you are old and grey.
Read on: 6 Jar Money Management System
Cut Costs When Not Needed
If you have subscribed to a service that you barely use, there’s no reason to keep it.
For example, if everyone in your home has a cell phone, you no longer really need a home landline. Similarly, if you tend to watch the Internet for movies or news, you don’t necessarily need cable anymore. It might not seem like you are giving up much – but that money will add up to your budget, allowing you to save up.
Review and Pay Off Your Debts
In order to be financially healthy, then you might want to get rid of your debt as soon as possible. Fair enough, you can’t pay it off right away – but if possible, try lowering your interest rate by consolidating or paying in advance. Make it a priority so that you will have one less thing to worry about.
Managing your personal finances is not easy – but with a little bit of restraint and an organized mind, it can be pulled off. Try to always have a visual of your financial situation, and you should not have any surprises by the end of the month.
We started Money Lover because we know money matters. We hope with Money Lover, more young people like us can improve their financial status and save more for the future.