Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are —James W. Frick
Balancing your money is the key to having enough, most of us work hard for our money and the last thing we want to do is throw any of it into unnecessary charges, unpredictable funding and unplanned emergencies and it is so sad that this happens to a good majority of people, they don’t realize ways they are leaving money on the table and causing their pockets to bleed.
Having your financial bank secured is a necessity to survival in today’s world, the persuasion to fall prey into the hands of emergencies, wants, responsibilities and necessities are ever rising.
More so the need to be in check and not drown deep into a hole of debt, hence we have to learn how to manage money without climbing a cliff of debts. Today I will be outlining certain money management tips because you must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.
There are so many ways we cheat ourselves out of money that could and should be ours; through the things we don’t do, the things we forget to do and the things we don’t do too much.
Before I dig into this, I’ll like to state this out as one of the money management tips; your financial journey is not how much money you make, but how much money you keep and how well you invest the money.
This habit is extremely important; if you are on a low stead earning and you are making about $100 a month and you choose to practice certain habits that aren’t good for your financial security when you start earning $3000 over the cause of time, you’ll still spend the same way and have no measurement of growth to your finance.
The idea here is watching your habits and eliminating the negative habits that drain your finance. Our lives are a mass of habits, they shape our lives as they become more automatic; so the kind of habits we choose to adopt in our lives and finance is necessary.
Money has many jobs not just spending but saving, investing and donating and as a result, there are several systems to management.
One of the popular money management systems is the bucket management system. This system entails portioning your earnings into 5 buckets. The first bucket is the necessity bucket which takes care of your bills, your car payment, internet all that stuff, 60% of your earnings are allocated into that bucket.
The next bucket is the emergency bucket, 10% of your earnings go into that bucket. This includes your expenses put away for the rainy days.
The third bucket is the investment bucket also known as ‘’Pay yourself bucket’’, 10% of your earnings go to this bucket to help improve your financial stability.
The fourth bucket is the learning bucket which is in charge of your knowledge and income skill improvement, 10% of your income is allocated to this bucket to enable you to learn more.
In the course of my journey even without blogging, I always try to establish, improve myself and raise pillars of knowledge and this bucket came in handy.
Then the last bucket is the fun bucket which entails 10% of your earnings as well.
With all honesty, cultivating the positive habits and discipline to stick with these money management tips are usually so difficult. For the fun bucket, I usually go beyond 10% especially for months where I choose to do reward myself I try not to go over the limit which I something crumbles but I am working on that.
Adopting the bucket management system is more like adopting a controlling beneficial boundary; if there are no needs portioned to that money the need to spend it arises. Apart from adopting management money system, certain things are hampering your financial security, things we spend money on that are unnecessary and wasteful without our knowledge.
Everything we do is a choice, some choices move us towards financial goals and choices that hamper our finance even without our knowledge causing us to lose money. So I will be sharing 5 things that may be hampering your financial health and causing financial insecurity.
1. Spending Without A Budget
If you fail to plan you plan to fail
We have all fallen guilty of this at one point or the other- “spending without a plan”. I was very much on this boat, riding and organizing each trip…lol until I learned about the different money management system in portioning your earnings, eradicated several habits that sucked up funds and learned about the intricacy of budgeting.
It wasn’t like I wasn’t saving but I had my money clustered in one account, portioning the savings in my mind.
Let’s say I earned $1000 this month I simply told myself that I will be saving $500 and the remaining for miscellaneous and of course that was a weak form of planning, quite different to the bucket management system and budgeting.
When you budget, you plan and succeed; budgeting simply entails keeping track of how much money comes in, how much goes out and how much is lived over. Simply put, budgeting is how your income will be used. We all have responsibilities in our lives like rent, mortgage payment, car payment, medical bills or you want to take a vacation.
Some of these things are “wants” and some of these things are “needs” but the only constant thing is that they all cost money.
There are several kinds of budgets, for examples, the one read in books, outlined from a person’s success story or you would want to tailor your budget that is specific to your own needs. And these budget could also last for a short time, months, a long time, a few years, etc. Some people even follow the same budget for decades.
Ideally, you would want to spend less of what you earn and then save the rest, put it aside for a rainy day.
A budget is mandatory. For a strong financial game, you have to create a plan for how you want to spend your money to live a successful life. If you spend more than you earn or are constantly scraping the bottom of your account to make ends meet, then you have to find a solution.
You have to organize a budget; this may sound daunting but with careful planning, you will be able to override your responsibilities and make ends meets.
Having a budget enables you to spend smarter, have more money portioned to savings, investment, modify your spending behavior; it helps you overcome the stress of living beyond your needs. You can track every cent you spend and make proper plans on how to save more, you have a strategic plan that you can follow with your money.
You cannot live a successful life without adequate planning and a budget. Money enables you to choose how you want to live, so learn to spend wisely.
To create a budget you have to;
- Define your goals.
- Outline how your income can fit into those goals.
- Portion your income to a purpose; don’t just spend money out of impulse.
- Focus on the little spending you make daily,
- And eliminate them.
- Be mindful and intentional about your spending.
2. Late Payment Of Fees
Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday-Napoten Hill
The habit of always putting off an experience or responsibility until you feel the time of reluctance is expired is one of the greatest burglars of joy and growth. It makes easy things hard and hard things harder.
When you incur payment of fees and bills till the last moment, you incur tension on yourself and may end up paying double. So one way to avoid that extra dough from going down the drain is attending to responsibilities ahead of the deadline.
3. Impulse Shopping
This is something I have struggled with in the past and I know I am not alone in this, we find ourselves purchasing things we’ve never planned to buy each time we go shopping.
Impulse buying includes purchasing something without planning for it in advance which means you are spending more money than you were originally going to.
On several occasions in the past, I can recall going to grab some snacks and I ended up in the supermarket area, spending triple of my intended purchases. These purchases were attracted by small deals. My mind saw it as no harm in spending some little extra money, and the little extra money causing me to pick 10 things I never needed. And bomb! I am spending so much more than planned.
Impulse shopping is an unplanned purchase, for example, the last purchases at the check stand as this incurs more spending for you.
If you are trying to curb your impulse to save some money or stop your house from filling with clutter, these tips will be useful for you. The first thing to do is;
- Create a list; this will help you keep on track. If there is something you want to get, add it to your list. I usually compile this list for 30 days anything I need goes under the list except it’s super important.
- Don’t get into sales especially when you don’t need them, do not be emotionally lured in concluding that you need it.
- Plan your purchases, I like to plan the purchases I do, as well as choosing a place that will be suitable for my shopping. There are times I choose to go to the local market because I want to save more money and there are times I can’t just go through the stress so I prefer shopping in the supermarket.
- Shop intentionally, plan where you want your money to go.
4. Not Negotiating
I once heard that we don’t get what we deserve but what we negotiate which has a thesis of truth. We live in a cycle where stories are sold to get purchase.
Negotiation is a major skill we all have to cultivate, some circumstances may arise and there is no option for negotiation- you simply cannot negotiate and that is okay for example grocery shopping, shopping in the supermarket or online with price tags.
There are times when you can negotiate the cost you ought to pay for your vehicle maintenance or cost you get certain gadgets for. I as an African have cultivated the habits of negotiating, I try to adopt this at every possible situation rather than just paying the direct price -I try to beat it down and when I did this for a reasonable amount of time, I realized I had saved a whole chunk of money.
Negotiating does not only apply to entrepreneurs but in our everyday lives learning to negotiate to our advantage without hurting the next person.
5. Bank Fees
This is a major challenge everyone experiences especially when you own a current account (In Nigeria) -an account meant for business, unlike savings. The bank charges are outrageous starting from monthly to card maintenance, conversion rate and whatnot.
I don’t derive the importance and need of such charges hence I try to consult my bank to find out what activities are incurring such charges and if I can’t deal with the banking proceedings I look for another alternative, another banking service.
The competition is high hence there would always be a more beneficial bank rather than losing my money in small percentages that would amount to something reasonable at the end of the month or year.
I can’t speak for every country but currently, in Nigeria, several banks have several conversion rates some banks convert a dollar at 330 naira (Nigerian currency) while others at 350 so you can imagine the amount of money that goes down the drain when you choose to go with a lower conversion rate. So I always advise that we keep track of our spending and financial system we choose to bank with.
And lastly, I have to chip this important aspect ‘’the fear and lack of investing’’.
It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.
When you save money alone without a plan of investing, you miss out a whole chance and opportunity of getting more out of your savings. And due to so many fake financial stables, it is quite hard to decide on which financial firm or channel to invest in but you should not let fear gird you with reluctance.
Investing is an act of using your money in a way that earns you a return.
Working hard to make ends meet for a favorable future isn’t just the do, it is important that your money works as well in yielding profits and returns to you over time.
Investing brings about financial independence and security. The future is uncertain and investing wisely gives you financial freedom and security over the years especially for unexpected and unplanned expenditures.
The investment serves as a safeguard against inflation. As prices increase the value of money decreases, investments help counter inflation pressure so that you can maintain a certain standard of living throughout your life, especially during retirement.
Investments enable you to achieve your personal financial goals. Investment creates wealth; when you invest wisely over the period, your net worth is more likely to grow, adding to your sense of security. There are certain ways you could invest, this includes:
- Purchasing properties
- Individual stocks
- Mutual funds
- Corporate debt
- Government Bonds
- Liquid Funds
- Fixed Deposits etc
You have to make a proper search and knows what works well for your financial goal. You can consult certain financial firms for proper professional alternatives and options.
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I hope these tips serve as a guide and eye-opener in giving you more insights on the channels of financial security, how to invest, save your money and not waste money. Remember fortune sides with him who dares. So from today learn to make the beneficial financial choice and eradicate those habits that are eating up your money.