We all need to manage our money well. While money may not make the world go around, and while there are much more important things in life, it is what allows us to lead safe, healthy and comfortable lifestyles in the long run. You need to manage your money in order to ensure that you always have enough to put a roof over your head, provide yourself with energy and warmth, buy food and drinks and more. If you have dependents, this becomes even more important, as others will be relying on you to manage your money well for their wellbeing and lifestyle too. But this isn’t a skill that’s taught in schools. It’s something that you’re expected to pick up yourself over time and experience. To save you learning lessons the hard way, here are some top money management tips that will help you out on this subject!
First things first, let’s focus on budget. We can’t overemphasise the importance of setting yourself a budget and sticking to this budget. Put simply, a budget is a money management tool that allows you to determine how much money you have coming in, how much will inevitably go out and how much you have left to play with. Start out by focusing on money in. How much money do you have deposited into your bank account each month? This can be from support, your salary or pay, investments and other forms of income. Make sure that you figure out the total take home pay after tax and other essential deductions. This will give you your “take home pay”. Next, you should make a list of all of your essential outgoings. Add things that you have to pay, such as rent or mortgage payments, local taxes, grocery shopping, finance agreements and other contracted payments. This will leave you with a final sum that is your “disposable income” – the money you can spend however you please. Make sure that you never exceed this amount, as this will prevent you from falling into debt.
As we’ve highlighted above, you need to make sure that you’re spending your money responsibly in terms of not going outside of your disposable income. But responsible spending goes beyond that. It means only buying things if they are genuinely within your means. Saving for larger scale purchases. Investing well so you see a return on your money. Imposing limits on yourself when it comes to ways to win money at home.
To save money, you will need to dedicate a percentage of your disposable income to a savings account of some sort. You can have a separate bank account, but generally speaking, you will benefit more from opening a dedicated savings account with good interest rates. Make sure to check the terms of your savings account before depositing any money. Different accounts have different terms and conditions regarding withdrawals. Easy access to money tends to be available, but for a lower interest rate. Higher interest rate accounts often come hand in hand with fees and fines for early withdrawals. What works best for you will depend on your own needs and preferences!
Got money to invest? Work hand in hand with a wealth management company or an experienced wealth management specialist who will be able to advise you on where is best to invest your money. They will be able to take all of your personal circumstances into account, choosing options that best suit your needs. Of course, bear in mind that investment always comes with risk. Make sure you only invest what you can ultimately afford to lose without falling into debt.
Clearing Existing Debts
If you already have outstanding debts, don’t worry. There are ways to deal with this. If the debt is irrecoverable, you may want to look into bankruptcy, but there are other options that can help you along the way if you want to clear your debt successfully. You can dedicate as much of your disposable income as possible to clearing your debts. It’s also a good idea to look into debt consolidation loans with low interest rates or interest free balance transfer credit cards. This will reduce the amount of interest you pay and can maximise the amount that actually gets chipped off your outstanding balance with each payment.
Of course, there are more in-depth steps to successful money management, but for now, those outlined above should help to get you off to a good start!
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