Spending = Stressing ~ Tips To Manage Your Money

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
One of my goals for 2017 is to be smarter about my purchases. My motto is fewer, better things. This means I want to buy fewer items, but the ones I buy are better quality. There was a time when I'd walk into a store and purchase eight $10 items from the sale rack, only to be bored with each item within three weeks. What that boils down to is $80 wasted. $80 that could have been put towards some other expense.

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed recently by finances and unnecessary purchases, you’re not alone. Running low on money can cause problems in your home and your life. Here is a list of the ways you can keep on top of your finances, track your spending, and start saving.
The main expense any of us faces are those dreaded monthly bills. Without fail, they can drain your bank account each month. Setting up a direct debit is one way of ensuring money goes out when it should. But shat if you don’t have that money in your account when the bill is due to be deducted? Not knowing when your bills go out, or how much money you need for that day, can cause major issues. Stay on top of the situation.

Organization is key. Write in a financial diary the date each bill is due and the amount that is owed. Late fees and finance charges are no joke, so timely payment should be a priority. Note, too, the total tally of your bills. Knowing this will ensure you can check the amount in your account each day. Download your bank's app to keep daily track of funds that are clearing and funds that are available.

A rainy day fund is always useful. This is not necessarily a savings account but rather a nest egg for emergencies and small, unexpected expenses. Having a decent chunk of money set aside will guarantee you’re never caught short. Saving isn’t easy, but even saving a small amount is better than nothing, and over time, you'll get satisfaction in seeing it grow. Though it may be tempting, try not to spend this money unless you need to. The more you spend, the harder it’s going to be to boost your savings again. Think of this as emergency funding only!

This is my personal goal. It’s also important you spend carefully and evaluate the cost and necessity of purchases. Don’t waste money. Think twice before you order take out versus cooking your own dinner. Do you really need another pair of black flats? Consider whether you need that new pair of jeans. The more money you waste, the less you’ll have to put into savings!

It can be hard to accept financial help, but sometimes it’s necessary. If you have family members who are willing to give you a loan, don’t hesitate to take them up on the offer if you need to. Better to be in debt to someone who loves you than a company who’ll charge interest! A good idea is to draw up a contract between you and the family member. Set up a payment plan so you both understand that it's a loan not a gift. If you don’t have anyone who could help, you may need to take drastic action. There are loans for homeowners which could help you out. Just remember that your home is at risk if you don’t keep up with repayments!

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