If you want to know how to manage your money better, then you’ve come to the right place! This is just a short intro with 3 tips that you can work on this week. However, there is a great introduction to personal finance here. Using this will change your finances forever!
Take a listen to me talk about how to manage your money better. This was live on Cape Talk radio.
1 – Tracking your expenses is more important than budgeting
We often hear about budgeting and I’ve written several posts on the topic too. But, not everyone likes to budget and in fact many people are a little afraid to actually commit to one. So, if you know that you don’t like budgeting or you feel that it’s just too restrictive why not turn it on its head and focus only on your expenses?
Simply track all your spending every day (each and every thing you spend money on) and tally it up at the end of the week and the end of the month. This should give you some great insight into your spending habits and may help you “budget” or rather shape your spending and money priorities.
We’re often too busy wondering where our money goes and stressing about how to make it work out when we should really just focus on knowing where it’s all going and then making decisions based on that!
2 – Shock-proof your finances with an Emergency Fund
Just when you think you’ve made it and you’ve sorted out some major financial issue you are dealing with, life happens and suddenly you have another financial crisis. Whether it’s the unexpected car service, a sick pet with no pet insurance, stolen school uniforms that have to be replaced immediately – all these things require you to fork out some more money which you don’t necessarily have.
A good way to deal with this is to have an Emergency Fund. Imagine having R5,000 – R10,000 saved in a separate bank account which is specifically allocated towards dealing with emergencies? That would solve so many issues and smooth the month-to-month cashflow.
In good months you can save R500 – R1,000 towards your emergency fund, and in months that you need to use it, you have it.
3 – Have you got your priorities right?
We often sweat over the small expenses and try to save a few rands here & there. That’s really great but what about the large expenses? It’s easy to go out to the movies or possibly dinner & drinks. We can buy expenses gifts for our friends and spoil ourselves with spa days and designer labels. At the same time though we try to negotiate the the fruit vendor to get a few cents off the apples or maybe we buy the cheaper breakfast and tell ourselves that we’re saving money.
It really is good to save money and to be more conscious of where we spend money but we often put far more energy into saving really small amounts of money when we could save a lot of money by focusing on one or two large transactions.
Instead of saving R200 in the month by not buy coffee, why not just buy the coffee if it makes you feel better in the morning but cancel one of your nights out with friends and you could probably save R400 with one decision!
How to manage your money better – taking it further
These are just 3 quick thoughts on money issues that you can focus on this week. You don’t necessarily have to make drastic changes to your habits and finances right now, but start with something small and slowly start to take charge of your money!
To take it further though, learn the basics of personal finance here and really transform your finances.