Managing your money is important whether you’re close to retirement or just starting out in your career. When it comes to budgeting and investing, understanding how to save money and keep your spending in check is essential. Here are five helpful ways you can manage your own money no matter which stage of life you’re in. If you need some tips on things to do with your family that won’t break the bank, here are a few things.
1. Track Your Spending
From ordering coffee at Starbucks to nights out with friends, it’s extremely easy to overspend. Sometimes you can overlook just how much of your cash is going to things you might not necessarily need. Make a spreadsheet or use an app to help you track where your money is going. You might be surprised at the amount of your paycheck that’s going toward frivolous things you could probably cut out. By paying close attention to your outgoing cash flow, you’ll have a better handle on your overall spending habits.
2. Manage Due Dates with a Calendar
Whether it’s your monthly credit card payment or car insurance, a calendar can be an extremely helpful budgeting tool. Mark down each bill you have on the calendar, making sure it corresponds with the exact due date for that bill. Then, determine whether you can shift some things around if you find yourself short on cash at certain times of the month. Most credit card companies will allow you to change the due date to better suit the timing of your income and your plans.
3. Sell Things You Don’t Need
With the advent of online marketplaces, it’s easy to sell the things in your home you might not need any longer. From clothing to video games, scour your home and create a “sell” pile. Then, list the items for sale on websites like Craigslist or eBay where you can make some extra cash. Use this money for an emergency fund, or you can utilize it to pay down credit card debt. No matter how you choose to use it, it always feels good to downsize while making a profit.
4. Stay Away from Credit Cards
Whenever possible, pay for items and food with cash or debit. If you’re planning to save money for a big purchase, credit card debt can do a number on your FICO score. Read about tactics that can help you pay off credit card debt faster such as the snowball or avalanche method. Whether you’re learning how to save for a house or you just want to better understand how to save money, chipping away at credit card debt is an excellent way to do so. By using cash, you’re more conscious about the money you actually spend, too.
5. Learn About Investments
If you’re trying to better understand how to manage money, investing is a great way to do it. If you don’t already have a retirement plan in place, talk to your employer about starting a 401(k) if they are available. You can also look for high-yield savings accounts that can give you a better return on your money. Stocks and bonds are another good way to invest, but it’s always recommended that you speak to a financial advisor first. With a little bit of planning and more conscious spending, you’ll have a better handle on your money situation in no time.