As a young adult, I faced a lot of trouble keeping up with my finances. I always managed to empty my pockets the moment I received any income. I bought all my necessities and luxuries on the spot not saving any cent. I never needed to save. I never found a reason for it. I now have a family to support and take care of, so I had to learn and find the fastest method to not lose track of all my financial spending. My wife, Elle, assisted me greatly with ways and tips to keep things together and how to make a reasonable budget plan. Here are what I learnt throughout the past year:
- Learn self control. Its important that you learn how to keep your shopping spurs in control. Make sure that your credit card usage is only for emergencies and not to buy a new purse or a new pair of expensive jeans. Keep your credit on check and paid when the bill arrives.
- Budget. Or in other words, knowing where your money goes. A budget or a financial calendar can help you know exactly how much you are spending on specific activities and therefore be able to minimize spending on trivial matters. Recurring monthly payments can be reduced according to their necessity, for example a monthly magazine/newspaper subscription may not be important if not frequently used.
- Save. Open a savings account at a bank, or keep money in an envelope each month in the safe at home. It doesn’t matter how you do it, its important that you do. Keeping money on the side is never an easy thing to do.
- Know your taxes. Understanding your salary and how much goes to taxes and how much you’re left with will help you budget better. On a side note, saving your last paystubs is essential for several reasons of which are proof of income, job security and taxes. I came across an online check stub maker that was a great way to print out old stubs for filing taxes.
In the end, each person has to find his own method of saving and budgeting. Adapting several tricks and saving methods to your own lifestyle would make it easier and effortless to create a budget plan.