What exactly is money management? It’s a plan for your money so you can get the most of it. This plan usually involves budgeting and saving money, avoiding or reducing debt, and investing in your future.
If learning how to handle your money sounds intimidating or stressful, take it step by step. Below are money management tips that will help you gain control and most importantly, security.
How to manage your money
1. Take an inventory of your finances
Money management is about more than just getting the math working. It’s also about adjusting your mindset.
Take a mental inventory of your current position.
Are you consistently too expensive?
Have you saved enough to survive unexpected expenses?
Do you live from paycheck to paycheck?
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the financial jargon?
Be honest with yourself about what your weaknesses are. You may have made some missteps in the past but don’t need to continue down this path. Here’s how to manage your money now and prepare for the future.
2. Create a blueprint for money management
How do you put your plan into action?
Use the steps below to create a design that works for your finances.
Start on a budget
If you are not sure how to budgetStart by choosing a system to stick with. We like the 50/30/20 budget plan, which allocates 50% of your income to needs, 30% to needs, and 20% to savings and debt payments. This 50/30/20 Budget calculator divides your income into these categories.
If the 50/30/20 rules don’t work for you, there are plenty of others Types of budgets choose from. You may also find that a free budget app helps you to keep track of your finances.
Track your expenses
By Track expensesyou can see exactly where your money is going. It can inspire you to adjust your spending habits so that they are better aligned with your goals.
Money saved is money earned
Track spending across all of your accounts to see where you can make or save savings.
Find ways to save
As you pay more attention to your finances, you will likely find ways to save. Here is how to save money, from optimizing daily habits to negotiating bills to making long-term changes.
Ideally, saving will become part of your lifestyle over time. If you want to learn more about saving money with coupons, giveaways, and DIY hacks, check out our guide frugal life.
Use specific accounts for spending and savings
One way to make money management easier is to separate money from your money for bills and budgeted expenses Emergency fund. This will reduce the temptation to go for it for non-emergencies. Saving for a house, vacation or a new car? Keep these funds in separate accounts so you can see progress towards each goal.
Make a plan to pay off debts
Taking a strategic approach to debt repayment will help you reach the debt-free finish line faster. We recommend tackling your most expensive debts – the accounts with the highest interest rates – first and making minimum payments as well. Then work your way down through any low interest debt until it is all paid back.
Develop good credit habits
Your credit can determine whether you can get credit and the interest rates you pay on it, as well as many other aspects of your financial life. A credit check can be part of the conclusion of a mobile phone plan, an apartment or a car insurance.
To keep track of your score, focus on the two most important factors that affect it: payment history and Use of credit (How much of your credit limit are you using). Try to pay everything on time as just a missed payment can affect your score and you can use less than 30% of your credit limit on each card and in total.
Invest in your financial future
Now put money aside, in a 401 (k) or IRAand let compound interest work its magic. The ultimate goal is long-term financial freedom and stability. Not sure how much to save? Try our Retirement calculator.
3. Make the most of your savings
Money management goes beyond spending less than you make. Saving enough to live comfortably in the long term as well as in the short term is a true sign of financial performance.
You can achieve this in four steps:
Start throwing away extra cash to build an emergency fund. Ideally, you should have six months worth of living expenses on hand in case the unthinkable happens. If this seems too ambitious for you, start small. A reserve of $ 500 is a great first target.
Invest extra money for your future. Get ready for retirement by contributing to a 401 (k). When your company offers a match, you are contributing enough to get the maximum.
to pay off a debt
Whether it’s a loan or an impending credit card bill, you likely have some debt obligations. Always make at least the minimum monthly payments so that you don’t suffer credit score damage from late payments. If you have extra cash for bills, Pay off the high-interest debt first.
Keep building this emergency fund, invest in retirement, and reduce debt.
4. Be persistent
Despite their good intentions, many people fall from the financial car. Sticking to an overly restrictive budget can stifle. Navigating investment jargon can be confusing. But don’t be discouraged.
You did not get into the financial situation that you found yourself in overnight, and you will not get out of it overnight. Give yourself time to learn and grow. With hard work and dedication, you can manage your money with confidence.