Money has always been a part of our lives ever since the day we were born. It is a necessity. An essential thing we need in order to survive and live a comfortable life. We use it to pay for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, electricity, internet and more. The list could go on forever and the fact that not everything is free, we need to have money and living in a world where the economy is unstable, we need to have financial security. Now that I’m an adult it is one of my #goals. Money is the last thing I want to worry about and that is why I should be responsible in how I use it. I have read books and articles and heard tips and advice on handling money but often, I fail to apply what I learned. I have made mistakes and poor choices that I now regret.
As with any kind of failures including money management, we can still try again, start over, apply what we learned and vow to never make the same mistakes again. This year 2016, one my resolutions/goals is to use money wisely and to save more. Honestly, in the first two months of the year I already made some poor choices but I realized that I should not spend my time contemplating on those things and focus on how to better at handling my money. Last Wednesday night, I spent most the evening brainstorming and planning on how will manage my money (what I have now and what I will earn when I get employed #excited). Listing down ideas cleared my mind and made my plans more specific and organized. 🙂
In this blog post I’m going to share the things I learned about handling money from my own experience and from what I have read.
Money isn’t everything, but having some kind of financial security can never be a bad thing.
–Georgina Wilson, Besties
Manage your money by applying the 50-20-30 rule.
50% for needs. This basically includes monthly dues (ex. rent, electricity, cellphone bill, internet), food, transportation, groceries and clothing.
20% for wants. Funds for entertainment, hobbies, eating out and also clothing (ex. the dress in the latest collection of your favorite brand or the latest sneaker from Keds)
Note: Needs and wants are a personal thing and varies from one person to another.
30% for savings. No matter what situation we are in we should save a portion of our money. In this part I prefer to divide this into four:
- Long-term savings – funds for the future and later on when this is enough this can be put into special savings account, time deposit or other types of investment preferred.
- Short-term savings – funds you save for the item you want to buy (ex. a new smartphone), travel and debts if you have any.
- Emergency fund – can be a part of the long-term savings but I think its best to separate this fund because this is for extremely important situations.
- Irregular expenses – this may include funds for repairs and maintenance, medicine for when you get sick, trip to the vet for your pet/s, clothing (ex. You were invited to a party and the dress code is to wear a dress in metallic silver color.), etc. Life needs and wants this also varies from one person to another.
How you apply this rule in managing your money depends on your preference and needs and the percentages are just guides. It can be lower or higher but it’s important to remember that there must always be a portion for savings.
A part of all you earn is yours to keep. It should be not less than a tenth no matter how little you earn.
–George S. Clason
Here’s a good advice from Mary Hunt, author of the book 7 Money Rules for Life:
When you receive money from any source, before you think of spending it, transfer 10% into your long-term savings account-no questions, no excuses, and no exceptions. Don’t think, just do it. Anyone can put money aside, at any level of income. You just have to do it. Saving money is simple. In no time this action will become a habit that you repeat so often it becomes automatic.
- Put a portion of your loose change into savings.
- Avoid the malls or any shops you frequently shop into especially on times that you’re on a tight budget. If you’re going to the mall just for the sake of window shopping, walking around or hanging out with family or friends, just bring cash that is enough for what you intend to do. This can save you from impulsive buying and unnecessary expenses.
- Plan your route carefully when going to multiple places (ex. when running errands) not only you’ll save money on fares or gas but also time and energy.
- Learn to make your own food, eat right, exercise and stay healthy.
You have to figure out what gives you maximum utility–what is it that you get the most use of? And of course, if you want something, you have to work toward attaining it.
–Georgina Wilson, Besties
I think that there’s no such thing as over saving only overspending and count me in. When you list down names of those who have done overspending and it’s something that I do not want to do again. Spending money should involve making wise decisions, discipline, careful planning and knowledge.
- Use the formula: Income – Savings = Expense
- Create a spending plan, set a budget and stick to it.
“A budget is the ticket to financial happiness.” –Mary Hunt
- Eat first before shopping. Hunger can cloud your judgment
- Choose quality items and remember that it doesn’t have to be expensive.
- Spend less, save more.
Be mindful in using your debit/credit cards
It’s either you have one of them or you have both. These cards offer convenience to its owners and if used wisely and with proper knowledge it can be used to its fullest potential and will never be a problem.
Debit Card – this card is equivalent to cash and you’re using your own money so you don’t incur debt. This is the card you use to withdraw cash at the ATM and can be used for payment on both online (limited shops) and offline purchases.
Tip: Plan your ATM withdrawals and track your purchases especially when you’re using it for payment.
Credit Card – like the debit card this can also be used on making payments both online (unlimited) and offline. When using it for payment you are borrowing money from the bank and you incur debt which you have to pay before its due date to avoid additional interest payments.
Tip: Do not buy more on your credit card than you can easily pay for at the end of the month. -Mary Hunt
If you’re interested to learn more about credit cards, you may want to visit Credit Card Insider an educational website helping people to understand all there is to know about credit cards and they can also help you in choosing which type of card is right for you.
I hope that you learned something from this post and that one day everyone will attain the financial security they’re aiming through handling money well.
Think more money will answer financial woes? That’s rarely the case. Start with the money you earn now & what you do with it.
*Featured image from Pixabay by Puurchantal