Money can be a source of stress and anxiety for many people. Expenses, bills to pay, planning vacations but also setting money aside to have a safety net just in case can all seem like too much. So, if you don’t plan your personal finances effectively, it isn’t uncommon to get incredibly stressed and start worrying that you need to look for a better-paid job or get an extra one. However, more often than not, money problems can come from poor financial management problems instead of not having enough income earned.
Financial health can be challenging to achieve, especially for young inexperienced adults who are just learning how to manage their professional and personal lives. However, this is not impossible.
Indeed, there are times when everything seems more difficult than ever, and it feels like you have more expenses and less possibility of covering them all. But things always get better! And by having a carefully planned personal budget and learning to manage your personal finances, you will see that many sources of stress were unnecessary and avoidable with a bit of organization on your part.
Don’t worry if it takes time until you get the hang of it. It is of the utmost importance to allow yourself to find the best financial plan that works for you and is in accordance with your lifestyle and income. It may indeed be necessary to make some compromises, but this is all for the best long-term.
The importance of managing one’s personal finances cannot be stressed enough. Doing this can teach you valuable lessons, like having self-control, guarding your health, and managing your wealth.
This being said, here are five things that can help you manage your personal finances better:
1. Set a realistic budget and try to commit to it
Indeed, sitting down to set a budget for your finances can be a tedious and time-consuming task. However, it is all worthwhile so that you can achieve financial health and relieve any of the stress that may come later due to not being aware of your expenses compared to your income.
For this reason, it is of the utmost importance to allocate a day to do this. This means taking into consideration how much you make, listing all of your expenses and bills, and planning how and when these need to be paid. The vital role of a budget is to see whether everything lines up and plan accordingly if they don’t.
Equally important as creating a realistic budget is your commitment to sticking to it. Otherwise, an unused budget isn’t of much help.
2. Save up for emergencies and/or big purchases
Any big purchases you plan in your future, like a vacation or buying an expensive item, should be considered. If you don’t afford to simply make big purchases without worrying about what this means for your financial health, it is crucial to saving up for any large purchase you plan on having. Every personal finance book worth its salt will recommend that you create an emergency fund.
Another vital reason – if not more important – to put money aside is in case of any rainy day. This means creating an emergency fund for any unexpected expenses that may appear. This way, if this happens, you don’t have to spend much or any of the monthly income; you can access this fund meant to cover any unexpected costs.
3. Learn to use your credit card responsibly
Credit cards can be incredibly useful and an excellent way to build a good credit score, which is highly necessary for buying a property or a car, for example. However, credit cards can also be a tempting and false safety net. For bad spenders, it can be risky to have a credit card if they don’t learn how to use it responsibly.
So, if you have recently received a credit card and are unsure how to use it properly, don’t worry. Simply put, you should always use your credit card only when truly necessary or for insignificant purchases. Plus, you should never make any purchase that you don’t really afford and risk acquiring too much debt.
What’s more, always make sure you pay off any debt you have early on and on time. This responsible activity on your credit card will help you build a good credit score.
4. Always track your spending
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of tracking your spending. Doing this ensures financial health because you have control and a clear idea of where your money goes. Even if it is a small purchase, you should still include it. In fact, these are just as important as more significant purchases, given that they can quickly add up and amount to a large sum.
Therefore, start tracking your spending. This may also help you see whether there are some things you could eliminate from your regular purchases if you realize they are highly unnecessary. So, start writing down or creating a digital file where you can easily track your spending. For instance, if you use digital tools such as PDFChef that allow you to edit, merge or split PDF files, you can keep organized files of your spending that you can access anytime, even from your smartphone.
5. Limit subscription plans and services
Creating a budget and tracking your spending are effective methods of managing personal finances. By doing this, you can discover unnecessary expenses you make that you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of. For example, it isn’t uncommon to subscribe to services that you don’t actually use.
With so many plans and services available on a subscription basis, all seem useful and necessary. You can easily collect too many of them, from streaming to monthly flower shop services. This will lead to you having redundant subscription plans that just make a hole in your budget. Therefore, it is time you cancel the ones you rarely or never use. You should keep an eye on these subscriptions every month, given that your preferences and needs can change over time.
A noteworthy mention would be never to shy away from asking for financial advice from a professional. Even when referring to a personal situation, managing finances effectively can be a challenge. So, don’t worry if it takes a bit of time until you accomplish financial health.