Money might seem like a simple concept at first glance. However, as most adults come to learn, money can be spent quickly. So, if you only had a few dollars to your name for the week, spending it on going to the movies probably isn’t the wisest decision.
As adults, we tend to realize, managing your finances successfully and having a clear understanding of money can make reaching your financial goals much simpler. We spoke with adults of varying ages to find out what they wish they’d known about money sooner. Read on to identify and learn about 3 principals to start your financial journey off on the right foot.
How to Budget
It may sound cliché (and a little boring) but learning how to manage a budget and plan out your spending is one of the best tactics for understanding your finances and will build a solid foundation you can rely on when it comes to getting the most out of your earnings. For a detailed look at how you can get started, learn the power of budgeting here. The golden rule for a successful budget is to spend less than you earn. To do this, plan out your expenses, set some money aside for nights out with your friends or fun purchases, and save, save, save.
Save Up for Emergencies
Even if you use a successful budget consistently, it’s essential that you remember to set aside part of your income for unplanned expenses. Hopefully, these types of hits to your bank account are exceedingly rare, but if you don’t have an emergency fund built up, a minor car repair or small inconvenience can turn into a major problem for your finances. To get started, figure out how much money you’d like to have saved for emergencies. Remember, the more you build this up, the less stress sudden expenses will cause. Then, start saving a part of all your money earned to go towards this fund. Soon enough, you’ll have your emergency fund built up and be protected against the unexpected.
Understand the True Value of Money
It’s easy to go through each day without paying attention to the small details. One thing that often goes overlooked is how much daily necessities cost. Do you know the cost of groceries for the week, on average? What about the total for your utility bills? The sooner you start to learn how much things in life cost, the easier it will be to build an effective budget, learn how to decide wants versus needs, and manage your money independently.
A good tip for getting started is to track every purchase detail in an app on your phone, like Notes. Try doing this for a weekend and capture anything that surprises you. For example, if you fill up your car with gas and it costs more than you expected, make a note and plan for that increase in costs for future weeks. If it costs you less than you thought it would to go out to dinner, write that down too. A few days of doing this and it will help you understand where your dollars are going and how it pertains to the cost of living.
Show your pride.
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