Matters of money can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you aren’t careful, it can slip through your fingers quicker than you can make it. Before long, you can find yourself drowning in debt.
Getting control of your money doesn’t require extensive math skills. Simple addition and subtraction are the most complex skills you need; at least mathematically speaking. Other skills you need include discipline, planning, and avoiding certain pitfalls.
Avoid Impulse Buys
When you’re trying to be smart with your money, you have to be in control. You can’t fall victim to impulse buys. Retailers are counting on your lack of willpower. It’s no accident those adorable things are placed near the checkout. Instead of buying something on a whim, plan and shop around.
You may be amazed at how much money you can save by shopping around. For anything from appliances to term life insurance quotes, it’s always in your best interest to explore your options. Especially when it comes to appliances or technology, new models entering the market will lead to discounts on older inventory.
To be wise with your money, you need to have some idea where it’s going. The best way to keep track of your money is to make a budget. A budget is where you put all of your earnings and expenditures down on paper. Once your income and necessities are accounted for, then you know how much you have to work with for other activities like shopping, entertainment, or eating out. The most important thing to keep in mind, a budget is only effective if you stick to it.
Keep the amount of unbudgeted money to a minimum. The amount of your income left over after accounting for your expenses is what’s considered unbudgeted. Some of this money should be earmarked for shopping, socializing, or doing whatever you enjoy. This shouldn’t be a limitless amount of unaccounted money.
People who aren’t struggling for cash have a series of good habits in common. They’re more interested in spending their money on experiences rather than things. They don’t wait for a raise or suddenly come into unexpected cash before saving. On the contrary, they’ve made a habit out of regularly setting funds aside for savings. Those who are good with money also aren’t interested in wearing flashy brand names. They are far more interested in quality and seek products or goods that will last the longest.
Credit cards can be the downfall of anyone’s money situation. They’re easy to use without thinking, offer vast spending ability, and are widely accepted by most merchants. Just because you can use credit, doesn’t mean you should. If you’re using your cards right, you won’t charge more than you can pay off when the bill is due. Obviously, that’s not what the lender wants you to do because you deprive them of the interest charges that come with carrying a balance.
Learn to carry cash. It doesn’t take any thought or consideration to pull out a credit card to pay for something. You’ll notice once you start spending cash, you’ll soon be more aware of how often you’re reaching into your wallet. When you’re seeing your money dwindle, you’re more likely to think twice before making frivolous purchases.
Being smart with your money isn’t impossible. Like anything, making changes for the better takes practice and you should expect a learning curve. If you slip up, be aware of what you did and try not to do it again. You’ll soon reap the benefits of your dedication.