This time period is tough for everyone and the economy certainly isn't what it used to be... This is a great time to reanalyze your finances, buckle down on your spending and learn how to RESPONSIBLY managing your money.
Unless you work in Finance or Accounting, managing your money can be the last thing you want to do BUT unfortunately it's... its a MUST!! Through our own experience, OVERspending and research, we've put together some tips on how to be responsible with your $$ (or in lucky cases...$$$$).
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR FINANCES...
1. SAVE BEFORE YOU SPEND
Spending is easy but saving is hard so get it out of the way. When you get your paycheck, put away your budgeted savings first! Remember to save for long and short term goals. In the future, you might want to put a down payment on a new house, in the short term you might want a new dress. A great app that helps you manage saving for specific things is called Digit! Read more about Digit here. No matter what you are saving for, make sure you reach your goals and make 'em happen!
2. WRITE A MONTHLY AND DAILY BUDGET
For all your necessary expenses (including your savings) - plan out your month (rent, groceries, phone bill, utilities etc.) and then know how much you can spend each day on food or coffee out.
3. PAY YOUR ESSENTIALS FIRST
After you save, make sure to cover your costs first! Don't spend on luxuries or on things you could live without, until you've paid for everything else.
4. BE RESPONSIBLE AND KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Heading out for drinks or dinner with friends? Make sure you know your spending limit. If you know you are someone that can go over the top, just take cash with you and leave your credit cards at home.
5. PLAN FOR TAXES
The worst thing is to be hit with a huge tax bill at the end of the year so make sure you know your taxes. If your employer doesn't already withhold your income for taxes, make sure you do! On the flip side - don't rely on tax refund money! Think of it more as a bonus for extra savings or to get that totally unnecessary but totally awesome thing you've wanted forever: think AirPods. NEVER RELY ON MONEY YOU PLAN TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE!!
6. PAY OFF YOUR DEBT AS YOU CAN
Have you racked up a bit of a credit card bill? Don't over spend on your debt so that you can't cover your other costs. Pay you debt off in increments! Don't spend your entire pay-check on debt and be left with nothing. You'll just end up in more debt.
Money is something that, unfortunately, we will never get rid of. It is a fact of life. It can be a great fact of life but it can also be a huge burden.
Live in the moment but plan for the future too!