Manage Your Money With These Tips
Managing your money can be a challenge. People sometimes find that their money gets out of their wallet as fast as it gets in there. Other people find that they buy and buy and stay within a budget, but don't have any quality goods to show for it at the end of the season. Their house may be filled with trinkets and their garbage can with packaged food wrappers. They go the whole month without eating freshly prepared food or adding quality decorating items to their home. Still others have good enough items and stay within a budget, but don't have money set aside for investment and retirement. They may fall victim to the shopping mentality of today's worker and fail to set away money for important long term goals like vacations. This list will help you manage your money no matter what your situation and long term financial goals.
1- Pick An Accounting Method
Picking an accounting method is the first step in experiencing success with your money goals. You will need an accounting method to help you keep track of progress. Whether you are looking to make small changes and reduce your dependency on credit cards, or make large budget changes and save for retirement, you will need a method to track your money purchases and income. From a simple spreadsheet to a fully integrated online software with an app, you can use the technology available to you on the market. Finding an accounting method that works for you may take some time. If you first try a software or a simple spreadsheet and don't get good results, don't quit! Keep looking for another method until you find one that is easy for you to work with and makes sense.
2- Make A List Of Long Term Goals
Many people don't experience success in their budgeting because they don't have long term goals to achieve with their money. An important goal for many people is saving for retirement or vacation. Others may find that they are set on saving up to invest in higher quality clothing or a more fuel efficient car. Long term goals can also include non-purchases like getting out of credit card debt or spending less on vanity items, or working your way into a job with fewer wardrobe expenses. Just having the list is the first step. To make this list, carefully consider what you really want. Itemize carefully. Don't lump goals together so that they are chunks of labor that cannot be achieved by reasonable effort. If your list is long, think carefully about if you are really making goals or a wish list.
3 - Make A Budget
A budget is perhaps the backbone of mastering your money. A real budget includes some needs and some wants. For example, a budget without your basic food and transportation expenses itemized in it would not be complete, and you will almost certainly go over each month. Include in your budget realistic items as well as important necessities. For example, almost no one can go without dietary treats like ice cream, but neither can they skip important nutritional items like spinach and potatoes. Include both types of items in your budget.
4 - Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save your money. You should consider buying in bulk for recurring expenses like potatoes, cheese, toilet paper, and other things you may use a lot of. These can vary from house to house. Consider a membership to a bulk buyer's club of some kind, or just shop around online for warehouses in your area. You can buy non-food items as well in bulk, even though that is usually the most popular type of bulk buying. Other common bulk buys include paper towels, cleaning items, beauty items like hair ties, and candles or light bulbs.
5 - Prioritize Fun Money
Prioritizing your fun money is one of the most important steps in taking control of your finances. Many people are caught in routines of eating and partying out, and find that their wallet is empty at the end of the month. Make a list of things that are fun for you and rate them in importance each week. Don't just do the same thing over and over if you are wasting your precious fun money and never have enough to save for some real fun, like a vacation or a spa retreat.
6 - Cook In
Cooking in is a huge way to make money. No matter your cooking skill, everyone can try the old adage of cooking in once a week when they are trying to get control of their money. From simple pasta and jarred sauce to chicken cordon bleu, you can make a difference in your savings by staying in. Shop around for doable, classic cookbooks or try a membership to an online recipe club to get you started, but be creative and have fun too! You may find that it replaces a night out if you cook with friends.