Seven easy ways I manage my money.
Money management can be quite daunting for many. Can't have enough of it, and not being able to keep it. There are several money management courses, hacks, and guides available online. All promising the same thing, how to manage your money! Yet, there are many broke people all over the world. Sometimes not for the lack of money, but the lack of control over their money. You see, there is no one-size-fits-all in money management, and it's up to every individual to manage their money in a way that works best for them. My strategy may not work for you and vice versa. I could be earning more than you do and have fewer responsibilities than you. However, there isn't anyone who will manage money effectively without having self-control, or what we would call discipline. You can never allow money to become your master because it will enslave you. At all times money has to remain under your management. This is what I do:
- I spend less than I earn.
- I know the exact amount of expenditure my budget can accommodate. So, I try to keep them at a minimum.
- I don't create unnecessary debts that will cause more stress in my pocket.
- I keep up to date with my bills, payments in full, on or before the due dates.
- I prepare my own home-cooked meals as opposed to dining out, often.
- I avoid habits that will drastically reduce my money, drinking, smoking, partying, shopping spree, etc.
- I don't waste my money on the latest trends.
- I live within my means.
- I don't allow my yearnings to control my earnings.
1. I only buy things I know I need, even if they are on sale.
My credit card is always at my disposal having a higher balance than my debit cards. However, I don't abuse the privilege to buy now and pay later. I always remember that my credit card balance is a loan and everything that comes off it has to be repaid. It isn't an allowance, a grant, or a stipend. It's a loan from my bank, it's really their money! With this in mind, I monitor all my credit card purchases. I'm not enticed by items that I see on sale. I will only buy things that I know I need, and not what I think I need.
2. I never pay late fees on any of my bills.
I avoid paying late fees at all costs. I will never give a service provider more than I have to. Unless it is a situation beyond my control. A late fee is an excess charge on my budget. I can't afford to throw away my hard earn money on something that I have the power to control.
3. I don't settle for low-quality products.
Going cheap isn't always beneficial. Over time, it may cost you more than you bargained for. I have no problem paying for durability and great quality. In the end, I will save more for purchasing a better quality product that can last longer, over a cheaper version that has to be replaced periodically.
4. I don't defy my budget.
As a rule of thumb, I calculate my budget at least a week before payday. All the monies are allocated to their respective places, and my budget is final. At the arrival of payday, I'm cognizant of the amount that I should and shouldn't spend, and I act accordingly. Another thing I watch closely is impulsive buying. It will seriously ruin your budget. When I'm out shopping, I take a list with me, and I also try to under-spend as much as I can. Don't be alarmed by those crazy deals you see, when you are on a budget. You might end up buying items you don't need. Unless there is an emergency, my budget will remain as is.
5. I make bulk purchases on non-perishable items.
It's prudent to buy in bulk. Although, many persons can only afford small purchases, which is quite understandable. It will cost you more if you make weekly trips to the supermarket. Providing that members of your household are resourceful. You'll save more on bulk purchases. You'll also enjoy the benefits of great discounts that aren't available on single purchases. Always remember to watch the shelf life of your goods. You wouldn't want to be wasting money on items that you aren't able to use by a certain time.
6. I keep an emergency funds account.
Life happens! At any time an emergency could arise. In as much as I earn, I keep something aside. If it doesn't benefit me, then another family member should be able to benefit.
7. I don't make it a habit to lend excess money from my savings.
They say money separates the best of friends. I take my money seriously. I avoid lending large sums of money from my savings. There are many family members and friends that are guilty of not repaying the money they've borrowed. I don't have a problem giving money from my cash in hand. I'm just not into withdrawing excess amounts from my savings to lend anyone.
In summary, I didn't do all this overnight. In fact, ten years ago, I was nowhere close to managing my money or speaking like this. I mismanaged a lot of my earnings. It takes practice and self-discipline to spend your money wisely. It's important for you to do your own self-assessment with each dollar you earn and choose the most effective way(s) to manage your money.
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