Managing money can be tough. As you get older, there seem to just be more and more responsibilities. Learning to manage your money is an essential part of being an adult. Unfortunately, it’s also something that many people struggle with. These tips will help you get better at handling your finances and take a lot of the stress out of dealing with money.
1. Keep Track Of Your Spending
The first step to being better with money is to figure out where your money is going in the first place. It can be way to easy to hand over cash or swipe your debit card or credit card without a second thought. However, all those transactions add up. The majority of banks have mobile banking apps. I highly recommend downloading your banks app. Checking your transactions can be as simple as logging into the app and checking your card history. This allows you to see how the money in your accounts is being spent. Seeing these transactions helps you realize just how fast your money goes. Analyzing your spending habits is key to being better with money. Without checking your account balance and history, there is nothing to hold you accountable for your spending. Checking your account regularly can also help you find errors within your account, such as overcharges and fraud. These mistakes are easiest to fix when they are caught early so it’s good to keep up to date. I recommend checking your bank account at least once every other day to make sure everything is correct.
2. Budgeting Apps
Another great way to hold yourself accountable with your spending is by the use of budgeting apps. There are plenty available in the app store. However, the one I recommend to help you be better with money is Mint. This app removes all the guesswork and confusion out of budgeting. You simply sync this app to your bank account in order for it to receive all your financial information. This app keeps track of all your transactions and categorizes your spending. It breaks it up into categories such as food & dining, auto & transport, home, travel and other. It provides you with a pie chart so you can easily see where you are spending the majority of your money. It also tells you how much you have spent so far in the current month. The best part about this app is that you can set budgets within each category and for overall spending. Setting budgets really holds me accountable, so that I don’t spend more than I earn. This app is extremely user-friendly and makes budgeting as easy as can be. It is all just a matter of setting how much you are okay with spending and then the app does the rest for you.
3. Setting Bills To Auto Pay
This is another money hack that will just make your life so much easier. It can be hard to remember when each bill is due each month. I like to set my bills to be paid automatically by being taken directly out of my bank account each month. This ensures that I will never be late on my bills. If you’re paying these bills with credit cards, this is also a great way to help boost your credit score. Expenses such as cell phones, credit card bills, car insurance, internet, TV and more can all be set up to be automatically paid.
4. Limiting How Much Cash You Use
The problem with spending cash is it can be hard to keep track of how much you spend since it can’t be tracked through your bank account. I’ve found that the best way to keep myself accountable with cash is to limit how much I take out. I limit myself to withdrawing $100 at most each week. This way I know how much cash I started with and can easily figure out how much I’ve spent. I only use cash for smaller purchases, such as coffee, fast food, or inexpensive meals. I also save cash for expenses that cannot be paid for with card. I use my credit or debit card for all other purchases because I just find it to be more convenient.
5. Cut Down On Shopping
Another great tip to be better with money is to limit how often you shop. I stopped going to stores and the mall for entertainment and now only go when I truly need something. Impulse shopping can be very bad for your bank account, so the best tip is to limit your exposure to items that you will want to buy. Before making a purchase, truly think about if you really need it. The majority of the time you will decide that it is more of a want than a need and you can live without it. Find other fun ways to treat yourself, rather than spending your hard-earned money on material items that will only bring temporary satisfaction.
6. Don’t Forget To Save
An essential part of being better with money is saving. I know this is not fun, but it is extremely important for your future. My easiest saving tip is to take a certain percentage of each of your paychecks each time you get paid and transfer it to your savings account. Figure out whatever percentage will work for you and your budget. Something as small as saving 10% can add up in the long run. Most banks will allow you to set up automatic transfers as well. Transferring money right away is the best way to save. If that money is no longer in my checking account, I don’t think of it as being mine to spend. Once you do this for a few months, you will get into the routine of saving and it will become second nature.