4 Tips to Effectively Manage Your Money
Simple Guidelines for Money Management
Managing money is not the easiest task for many of us. It can be tempting to order takeout on a whim, plan a spur-of-the-moment vacation to Cancun or go for gold with a new gym membership.
Tracking your finances and managing your money does not have to be a big, scary thing. With a few simple steps, you can get a hold on your spending habits and find the best way to continuously track spending, optimize your budget and effectively manage your money.
1. Track Personal Spending
Just before payday, do you find yourself wondering where all your money went? Finding out is easy—record every purchase you make. There are apps you can use on your desktop and smartphone that help you track your spending and manage your money. Some of them even help you budget. At First State Bank, we offer a great service called My Money Desktop that helps you keep track of your funds. Learn more about it here! Or, if you are more traditional, you can always carry a paper and pen into the store. Keep it close to your shopping lists so you are not tempted to impulse buy.
Just because you are trying to save money does not mean you have to deny yourself some fun. It just means that you have to be able to account for what you buy and plan to set aside a little extra money each month to create a safety net. Break down all your necessary expenses—rent or mortgage, gas, food, savings, etc.—and set realistic goals. At the end you should still have some disposable income that you can dip into guilt-free.
3. Avoid Impulse Buys
It can be so easy to walk into the store for one thing and walk out with three. The best way to avoid impulse buys is to know yourself and your habits. Don’t go to the store hungry if you know that you are one to make a side-trip to the bakery for a quick treat. Try making lists and sticking to them. If you see something you want, add it to a new list so you have to come back for it. You may even change your mind about needing that item once you leave the store! Managing money becomes a breeze when you make impulse-control a regular habit.
4. Save for Emergencies—It Costs Less in the Long Run
Home, renters, dental and health insurance payments can be a pain, but when you really need to make a claim, having insurance pays off. Be sure to “pay yourself” every month, and set aside money for emergencies so that you don’t go into debt should you wind up in the hospital or in need of a new roof or car.
The best way to live a happy life is to know your means and only spend within them. Getting started with money management may seem overwhelming but once you start tracking your finances and saving money, it will really pay off! If you need further assistance with effectively managing your money, feel free to reach out to your nearest First State Bank location!