Managing money and being good with money is a lot more than just making ends meet. Having good financial skills can make life a lot easier. The way that you spend your money will have an impact on your credit score as well as the amount of debt that you carry around with you.
If you find that you are living pay check to pay check, even though you are actually making more than enough then take a look at these ways that you can improve your financial habits and manage your money better.
Give it Some Thought Before You Spend
When you are facing a buying decision, especially when it is a large purchase then you shouldn’t just assume that you are able to afford it. You first need to confirm that you actually can and those funds are not actually allocated to something else.
Use your budget and the balance that you have both in your cheque and savings accounts to determine whether you are able to afford the purchase. However, if you do have the money, it doesn’t mean that you can buy it. You need to consider bills and expenses that you still need to pay before your next pay check.
The All Important Budget
Many of us don’t budget, because we don’t want to have to go through the laborious process of listing our expenses, adding up the numbers and ensuring that everything lines up. However, if you are struggling with your money or you are just bad with money then you need that budget.
A budget can help you to get your spending on track and it really doesn’t take long to do. A budget adds value to your life and you will start to understand your money better.
Now You Have to Use Your Budget
Your budget is useless unless you use it, so make it and use it so that you can manage your money better. Throughout the month, you should refer to your budget to help guide any spending decisions that you may have.
You must also update your budget as bills are paid and as you spend money on expenses. During a month, you should have a general idea of how much money you are able to spend and any expenses that you still need to pay.
What About Those Unbudgeted Expenses
A vital aspect of your budget is the amount of money that you have left after all your expenses for the month are subtracted from your income. If you have any money left over then you are able to use it for entertainment and a treat, but only up to a certain amount.
You shouldn’t go mad with your money, especially if you do not have a lot left or that amount has to last the rest of the month. You will need to make sure that any purchases you make won’t interfere with anything else that you have planned.
Smaller purchases here and there can easily add up and before you realise, you have already overspent on your budget. You will then need to track your spending so that you can identify areas where you are overspending.
You can keep receipts and create a spending journal or you can use a phone app for tracking.
Wait…there are still more tips below…keep reading…
Avoid Commitments Unless You Can Afford It
Your income and credit might qualify you for a certain loan, but that doesn’t mean that you have to take it.
Many people assume that a bank wouldn’t approve them for a loan or a credit card unless they were able to afford it. This is assumed because the bank already knows your income and the debt obligations that you have as these appear on your credit report, but they do not know other obligations that you may have that could stop you from making payments on time.
You will need to determine if you are actually able to afford the monthly repayments and if a loan is actually affordable based on your income and obligations.
Get the Best Price
If you want to make the most of your money then you will need to partake in comparison shopping, so that you can be sure that you are paying the lowest possible price for products and services.
You should also take a bit of time to look for coupons, discounts and cheaper alternatives.
Want That Big Purchase? Then Save Up
You can become better with money when you learn to delay gratification and put off those large purchases. Instead of sacrificing important essentials or placing the purchase on a credit card, you should give yourself time to evaluate whether you really need the purchase and time to compare prices.
If you really do need that large purchase then rather save up for it and avoid using your credit card, so that you don’t pay interest on the purchase. Also, if you save instead of skipping other expenses that you need to pay then you won’t need to deal with the consequences of missing payments.
Keep Your Credit Card Limited
If you are a spender then your worst enemy is your credit card. This is because you have the tendency to run out of cash and turn to your credit cards without even considering if you are able to afford to pay off the balance.
You will need to resist the urge to use your credit card, especially when you can’t afford the purchase.
Make Sure You Save
You should try and put money into a savings account each month, so that you can start to build healthy financial habits. With online banking, you can set up an automatic transfer from your cheque account to your savings each month.
If you are not used to managing money, then at the beginning it can be difficult to plan ahead and too put off those purchases until you are able to afford them. However, the more you make these habits part of your everyday life, then the easier it will become to manage your money and you will notice that your finances improve.