Have you ever been accused of being the sort of person whose pockets have holes, burned through by money? If you’re this kind of person, and many of us are, money management doesn’t come naturally to you. Don’t let this tendency get the better of you. Most people start out this way. Sometimes it just takes a little learning and experience to get the hang of proper money management. If you start today, you can start investing in a future where you have a lot more financial freedom. But to make it happen, you’ve got to start working and learning today. Here are some ways to make it happen.
- Trim the Fat of Your Financial Life. Most of us have things we don’t need, or have possession which are more than we need. This latter point is what I want to focus on. If you have a vehicle or expensive item upon which you are making monthly payments, it’s time to evaluate this item’s purpose in your life. If you could get by with a cheaper vehicle, one that saved you $100 a month, or one that could be paid for in cash, how much more money could you save every year? The same goes for other expensive or leased personal items. If you can get by with something less expensive, which works just as well, surely it will be possible to make your budget work better for yourself.
- Look For Automated Payments. Automated payments for things like internet entertainment and Amazon items sure are convenient. They’re so convenient, in fact, that you might forget that you’re paying them entirely. WIth so many different options to choose from, it’s easy to initiate one of these services, stop using it, and forget to ever cancel the service. The average consumer has at least a few auto-drafted subscriptions, so check through your financial statements and cancel the ones which you no longer want. British readers should also check for PPI, that insidious insurance that got sneaked into a lot of financial contracts over the years. Most people who have this form of payment protection insurance don’t want it. You can save money by cancelling it, and get it back by becoming part of a class action lawsuit.
- Move. This may not be possible for you, but perhaps you simply haven’t thought about it. Different cities and regions have drastically different cost of living. For the same salary, you can live two wildly different lifestyle standards if you live in, say, Los Angeles or Baltimore. Take a look and see how you might possibly save thousands of dollars a year, taking the strain out of budgeting without having to change your behavior much at all. If you’re young and mobile, this is one of the best budgeting tools of all.
As you can see, there are many ways that we bust our budgets without realizing it. The deck is frequently stacked, and not in our favor. So if you are having a hard time meeting your budget, consider changing the rules your budget operates by. Make the right changes, and you may find you can meet your budget goals without changing your lifestyle at all.
Michael @ Financially Alert says
Great points Harry! I’d also suggest you take a look at your cable bill. It might just be time to “cut the cord”, or at least negotiate with your cable company. I see too often people spending money on packages/channels that they never watch and also don’t pay attention to the expiration of their starting incentive package. Just mention Netflix or Hulu to your cable provider and it could be all the ammo you need to re-enroll into a cheaper/better plan.