Haphazard, unplanned, and unfocused spending on Christmas is arguably one of the main factors contributing…
Pssst – guess what? Today we are discussing a very taboo subject; something that most people prefer not to talk about. A conversation that is typically kept behind closed doors. This topic, of course – is money (what were you expecting?)
Most money matters are certainly private and confidential, which will quite often prevent people from seeking professional advice. Our hope is that these five ideas – score, spend, save, share, and swat – will help ease you (and your bank account) on to the road of better money management. Let’s get started!
Score some. First things first, you’ll need to score some cash before you can learn how to manage it. There are many different ways to generate an income – such as employment (working for another person or company), self-employment (selling your own skills or products), or gaining a return on investments (such as stocks or income properties). Whichever way you choose to earn is up to you, as long as you know exactly where your money is going to come from. It is important to consider all job prospects and compare the probable income for each.
Something else to consider is the trade off between continuing education and your current job. You should ask yourself these questions:
- How much time and money will you invest in your education?
- How much money will you eventually earn?
- How long will it take to see a return on your educational investment?
Spend some. For most people, this pretty much goes without saying – it is nearly impossible to live your life without spending money. And that’s okay! The important part of this step is not to stop spending it, but rather to start taking notice of where your money is being spent. This will inadvertently allow you to create a realistic budget (and understand the difference between wants and needs). A few things you may want to consider are:
- Costs and prices are constantly changing over time
- Try looking for expenses beyond what is evident
- Remember that expenses can include a broad range, such as:
- Housing & household expenses
- Health & personal care
Save some. This can be a tough habit to start – but like anything else, the more often you practice, the better you become. Try starting with this one piece of advice: never spend the full 100% of what you have earned. Even if you spend $80 of every $100 made, those leftover twenty-dollar bills will surely start to add up! Once you get in the habit of saving a little money, try repeating these ideas in your head: save until it hurts, save forever, and save throughout your lifestyle.
Saving money is not only changing the way you spend it, but also changing the way you think about it. Try to consider saving for each of these things:
- Immediate priorities (within six months)
- Mediate priorities (within five years)
- Long-term priorities (retirement)
Share some. After just considering how to start saving your money, this step might seem a little counter-productive. But as this old saying goes, “you can only keep what you have by giving it away”. Allow yourself to be generous – to spend some money on a good cause, to support your community, or to help someone in need. Be generous with loved ones, family, friends or acquaintances. If a little extra money is simply not available for you to give, then consider volunteering your time instead.
Swat some. Last but certainly not least; you must consider how to effectively combat debt. It is important to remember that some forms of debt are actually savings – such as a mortgage. For all other debt that you may have acquired (student & car loans, credit cards, etc), consider this your enemy. You should be constantly striving to reduce your debt – in any way possible. Aim to have your debt paid off within the next five years.
This concludes our post about the 5 S’s of good money management. Please feel free to contact us for more information regarding your finances, and stay tuned for more blog posts like this one!
Created by Credit Counseling Services NFLD, and written by Kassy Gilkie.