Ever felt like it's such a struggle to be good with your money? Well, the good news is that being good with or getting better with your money does not have to be difficult. Here are 8 tips that will help you simplify the way you think about and deal with your money and in turn, help you get better with it!
Tip 1: Work on your mindset
If you want to be good with or get better at managing your money, you have to first decide you are ready which means working on your mindset and empowering yourself mentally to succeed. Keeping a journal, saying affirmations, reading motivational books and watching motivational videos, getting a mentor etc are all ways to keep your mindset in check.
You've may have heard the saying "you become what you think" - Well if you want to get better with managing your money you have to keep it at the top of your mind.
Tip 2: Set specific & measurable goals
You probably have a few goals that money can help you accomplish right? Setting goals helps you lay out your "why" and gives you something to work towards or in other words, a reason to be better with your money. As you set your goals, keep in mind that you want them to be measurable and you also want to break your big goals down into small easy to digest chunks so you don't get overwhelmed from pursuing massive goals.
Tip 3: Create a plan for your finances
When you have a plan in place, it's easier to get where you are trying to go. Once you've laid out your goals, you want to create a plan to achieve them. How exactly do you intend to pay off your debt, save for retirement, bulk up your emergency savings, put money aside for your other goals and do all the other things you might want to do?
Well, a good place to start with laying out your plan is to determine how much each item will cost you, how much time you need and then set things up so you can start designating funds towards each of your goals according to the priority you have assigned them.
Tip 4: Make budgeting your best friend
I know, I know, not a lot of people love (or even like) to budget but if you are really serious about getting better with money you are going to have to fall in love with it. Your budget is basically there to help you track your spending against your income and your goal should be to spend less than you earn AND widen the gap between your income and your expenses so you can free up funds to accomplish your goals.
The key to budgeting successfully, is to find a budgeting method that makes things easy for you and one that you like.
Tip 5: Automate, automate, automate
Automating your savings is your next best friend! Studies show that people who automate their savings save more than people who don't because they stay consistent with their deposits and don't give themselves a chance to debate whether to save or do something else with the money instead (like go shopping) because the funds have been automatically assigned to their savings accounts.
Automation is one of the easiest ways for you to get better with your money!
Tip 6: Shop with a plan
The easiest way to derail your budget is to go shopping without a plan or a list especially when you are picking up inexpensive items without realizing how quickly those small costs can add up - a perfect example is going grocery shopping. The same thing can happen if you are mindlessly browsing the mall or target etc.
To make it easier on yourself and on your wallet, make a list of what you need or what you intend to buy before you hit the shops. Having a list to reference makes you more likely to stick to your plan.
Tip 7: Check your credit
Set a reminder on your calendar to check your credit frequently through a monitoring tool like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma . You want to make sure all the hard work you are putting into getting better with your money isn't impacted by inaccurate reporting or identity theft.
Tip 8: Have a little fun
All fun and no play...well you know how the saying goes. It's ok to live a little (within budget) by splurging every now and then, as long as it fits into your plans and does not derail your goals. A great way to do it is to set up a splurge or fun account for things like shopping, traveling, eating out etc and designate some funds to it each month from your budget.
If you start with these 8 tips, you'll be well on your way to getting better with your money!