Money, money, money… it’s just paper with numbers on it, right? Yes. But this labeled paper can be a wild stallion if not controlled. The best news is that control is far easier than you may have thought. In fact, proper financial management can mean that no matter how much is coming in each month, you can always live a financially-comfortable life. Ready to take control? Here are some top tips to help familiarize yourself with the language of money.
1. Know exactly where your money is going
“I purchase a coffee every morning. But no, I can’t tell you exactly how much I spend on coffee per month. I’m not precisely sure…” Well, you have to be! It is imperative to know exactly what you spend your money on as, when talking real finance, every dollar counts and should be treated with consideration.
How to take control right now:
Any time is the right time to take control of your money. Start now. There are many extraordinary digital money management programs that will track what you spend, assess where you’re spending, and advise whether and where you could be cutting down. A few minutes today could save hours of financial woes later.
2. Take control of your money
To cook, you follow a precise recipe, and a single error could ruin the whole meal. Managing money without a plan is like throwing ingredients of any type into a pot of hot water and hoping soup is made.
How do I take control of my finances?
You take control when you make a choice to manage your money and plan your spending. The best way to do this is by following the 50-30-20 rule that structures where each percentage of your income should be allowed to go towards.
- 50% Fixed Payments: repetitive/set and essential payments you must make every month, i.e. Amenities bills (these can fluctuate however they can easily be tracked and controlled), loan repayments, housing and school fees, etc. If you know that insurance must be paid every January, put 1/12 of that mandatory payment away every month so once January comes you have it ready, having come from your Fixed Payments allocation.
- 30% Flexible Spending: this money you have control over the spending of, such as groceries, donations, and nights out. See Tip 5, below, to find out the secret to getting more out of your flexible dollars.
- 20% Financial Goals: everyone has dreams, desires, needs and wants. This percentage of your money is to support those. It can be saved as ICE (In Case of Emergency). money, retirement security, a home deposit, or whatever you need it for to make you financially comfortable and secure.
3. Give yourself a break
At times, money can be a headache when you’ve already got a headache. If you’re under and feeling the pressure because of that, you need to step back and remind yourself that this can be changed. There are many people and places that can offer sound and structured financial advice.
You’re NOT alone!
It may surprise you to know that over $500 billion is spent annually on stress-related illnesses. And many of these illnesses can be prevented by taking that extra bit of control and not living in the unknown.
4. Capitalize on and take advantage of everything that’s been made available to you
Free! Cash Back! Sales! Discounts!
All around you, companies are giving back to consumers. Dubli.com’s VIP Membership was created for the online shopper who will not compromise their high standards and expectations; the e-shopper who expect digital shopping to meet, even exceed, those refined standards… And now it will! Shopping online means you don’t need a salesperson to assist and you don’t need a large store space to walk around. By shopping online, you’re closing the sale yourself. Earn more for your efforts. Become a Dubli.com VIP member and treat your finances to greater Cash Back for the flexible purchases you want to make.
5. Micro-manage your flexible spendings
Taking time out to learn more will mean more financial comfort. Your flexible spending money should be considered your entire monthly/fortnightly income. By identifying that flexible money as your income, you will learn how to get more out of it, rather than “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
How to micro-manage your finances?
It is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to get started.
- Make a list with different categories of things you’ll purchase. Start with: groceries, things I need/want to purchase, and things I need/want to do.
- Sort your lists into two columns: Needs and wants, then prioritize the lists.
- Look to see if you can get any good deals, rewards, or earn Cash Back on these purchases.
Once you’ve got your list together, you can decide exactly what you want and when the most rewarding time to buy it will be. The Dubli.com blog regularly has tips and tricks for money saving. Whether you’re looking to book your next vacation, updating your wardrobe for the season or simply selecting new school shoes for the little ones.
6. Live below your means
“King for a day, pauper for the month”. Have you shared this social media message? While entertaining, this practice is a very real happening for many people. Why? Because it feels good to live off ALL of your income for a day. But is it good in the long-term? Of course not. In the long-term, it results in living like a pauper every day because the traditional “king day” becomes the “debt collection day” of your bank. But you can still live well when living below your means.
What does this mean?
Living below your means is when you know you make $X a month, but instead of living in the home of someone on $X, you live in the home of someone on $X-5% a month. It is not a major difference, but saving even $100 a month extra means $1,200 a year is added to your savings.
If money makes the world go around, or so they say, then getting control of your money will ensure it’s a smooth ride. To reiterate: living a financially comfortable life is easier to do than many think. Use these tips and change your life for the better, starting right now.