|Written by Chasov Media, Inc.|
Whether weâ€™re in a good economy or a bad one, there are people in debt and people who have trouble controlling their spending. Even if youâ€™re not in debt, chances are you could do a better job at controlling your finances.
We're all eager to improve our finances by learning how to manage our money better. In this tough economy it seems difficult, if not impossible to save money. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to improve your finances. The following steps will help you discover the basics of how to better manage your finances and become more financially sound.
Step 1: Budget
This seems like a no-brainer, but too many people still donâ€™t budget. You need to know how much you have and how much you spend each month. Maybe you have all your bills paid automatically and you donâ€™t need to look at the ugly truth. This is not a good way to stay informed. Every month you need to know what bills you are paying and how much youâ€™re paying for each of them. Youâ€™re probably going to find something you donâ€™t like, such as a gym membership you have not used in 5 months, but youâ€™re still paying for.
Never, ever pay for something you do not use, even if you have money coming out of your ears. Decide how much you have to spend each month on things like clothes, food and toiletries. Stick to these amounts.
Learn to buy things you use when they are on sale. Sale items usually go on sale regularly, so donâ€™t go crazy and stock up like it will never happen again.
When your credit card and bank statements come in, take the time to look at where you are spending your money and what exactly you are spending it on.
Step 2: Do without
Maybe in looking through your credit card bills and bank statements youâ€™ve discovered that youâ€™re spending close to or more than you make. Look through your records and first cut out things you donâ€™t even use, such as that gym membership. After that, you may need to cut out things like the amount you and your family eat out instead of in.
Eating out is expensive; sometimes just one meal out for a family can cost as much as a weeksâ€™ worth of groceries. This does not mean you should never eat out, just eat out less.
If you pay for a large cable TV bundle, you might want to go back to basic. These are simple ways to save money.
Step 3: Pay off your credit cards
If you are not already in debt, keep paying off your credit cards on time. If you are in debt, then itâ€™s really important to cut back and do without things in order to pay off your credit cards. People do not like to think about it, but the truth is, if you are using a credit card and not paying it off in full, youâ€™re spending someone elseâ€™s money. Credit is borrowed money. Once you cut back on some luxuries, you can apply more money to paying off the credit cards. In a bad economy, itâ€™s especially important to have good credit.
Step 4: Save
Even if you are in debt, you have to save money. Itâ€™s important to have an emergency fund in case something happens, such as a job loss. Itâ€™s recommended to have a few months of living expenses saved up.
Start small if you have to. A small amount being saved each month is much better than nothing. Maybe once you see the amounts in your savings going up you will be inspired to add more each month. Itâ€™s always a good feeling to have saved money. Itâ€™s a wonderful security for you and your family.
Get into the habit and practice the above steps on regular basis to see your finances become better as time goes by.
Once you build up your savings account consider investing some of the money to try and generate more income and move towards financial independence.