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How to Start Managing Your Money, For Those Who Never Learned Growing Up

The Golden Rules of Personal Finance

  • Spend less money than you earn
  • Always plan for the future: you should always look forward beyond the current month
  • Make your money make more money: invest, start a business or invest in your education.

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How to Start Managing Your Money, For Those Who Never Learned Growing Up

How to Start Managing Your Money, For Those Who Never Learned Growing Up

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-manage-your-money-for-those-who-never-learned-g-1703892260

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Key Idea

The Golden Rules of Personal Finance

  • Spend less money than you earn
  • Always plan for the future: you should always look forward beyond the current month
  • Make your money make more money: invest, start a business or invest in your education.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

3 Financial Basics
  1. Create a Financial Calendar: prevent yourself from forgetting quarterly tax payments and to get credit reports.
  2. Check Your Interest Rate: Pay off loans, open saving accou...
Budgeting Like a Pro
  • Consider an All-Cash Diet, as limiting yourself to physical currency combats overspending.
  • Set aside 1 minute a day to check on your financial transactions, to identify problems, track goal progress and set your spending tone.
  • Allocate at least 20% of your income to financial priorities like emergency funds, debts and retirement fund.
  • Budget about 30% of your income for nonbasic spendings, like entertainment. Abiding by the 30% rule, you can save and splurge at the same time.
How to Get Money Motivated
  • Draft a Financial Vision Board, it motivates and helps you to stay on track with your financial goals.
  • Set specific financial goals stating the reason, the way, numbers and dates.
  • Adopt a spending mantra, a phrase that serves as a rule of thumb for how you spend.
  • Love yourself. Taking control of your finances is part of that.
  • Make bite-size money goals. Make the bigger ones but also small step goals to get there.
  • Don’t be a financial fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.
  • Get your finances and body in shape. The discipline associated with regular exercising translates to managing your money well.
  • Appreciate what you have now, instead of being a consumerist.
  • Get a Money Buddy. Studies indicate people pick up good habits from friends with similar traits.

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Financial Literacy
Financial Literacy

While kids and teens get to learn about a lot of stuff, most families and schools do not teach them how to manage their money. In some families, it is considered a taboo subject and many friends a...

In And Out

Most of us know how much we make, but we need to pay close attention to how much money is actually coming in post-tax, and how much is going out.

You can start by writing down your Starbucks, Uber, Amazon, and take-out expenses, along with your car insurance, utility bills, subscriptions and memberships. Slowly we can realize that many of these small expenses add up to huge figures.

Review And Analyse

By noting down all your expenses on pen and paper, or on the PC excel sheet, you can start to review and analyse your spendings on a weekly or monthly basis. This will make you find innovative ways to save money, catching hold of ‘runaway spending’ that went unnoticed before.

Example: You could find that the $5 Smoothie that you had every day, could cost much less if you made it at home.

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Convenience Stores

Convenience stores add a huge markup because they don't purchase food in large quantities. They make you pay more for the convenience they provide. 

Unless it's an ...

Cell Phone Plans

Using a cell phone plan that does not suit your needs, or paying for extra services that you do not use can be costing you money each month.

Compare and determine which plan provides the most value based on your needs. Get rid of the extra features like text messaging and mobile internet if you are not using them.

Soft Drinks at Restaurants

Soft drinks have one of the highest markups of any restaurant item and thus provide lower value for your money.

Dine out, but consider to rather opt for water.

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Regular monthly bills
Regular monthly bills

The bulk of your budget is made up of necessities like rent, phone and internet bills, insurance, etc. If you can lower your monthly expenses, you can save a lot for unplanned events.

Debt when you're on a tight budget

There are a couple of paths you can take to pay off your high-interest debt when you're on a tight budget.

  • The snowball method. For those who need to see progress, pay off the lowest balance first. You'll feel inspired to keep going.
  • The avalanche method. Choose the debt with the highest interest rate to pay off first. This may require larger monthly payments and will take longer to see progress, but you will save the most money in the long run.
  • If you need to prioritize your credit score, focus on paying down your credit cards first. Paying the ones you are near to maxing out will improve your score quickly by a few points.
  • Set up payment plans, even if you can only afford a few dollars at a time. That way, your lenders can see you're paying something.
Incorporate unplanned entertainment in your budget

Financial professionals will advise you to cut out expensive nights out. In truth, you will have night's out, even when you're dirt poor.

To incorporate unplanned entertainment, set aside an amount each month. Be realistic. You can open another savings account for fun spending or you can use cash only.

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Side Hustle to Make More Money

You don't have to sacrifice all of your free time to start a side hustle, use the time you’re comfortable with and make a little bit of progress every day. 

Take Action

Get to working on improving your finances today, not tomorrow. Reading the steps and thinking you’re capable of doing it but postponing it is just an excuse, an unprofitable one.

Communicate With Your Partner

Talking about your financial goals, and scheduling time once a month to go over your finances together can prevent money from affecting your relationship.

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A Monthly Budget For Your Money

No matter how little or how much money you earn, creating a monthly budget is one of the most important aspects of managing your finances. What gets measured gets managed.

...

The Envelope System

The Envelope system is a way to track your variable expenses like food, entertainment, and drinks.

This method, preferably used weekly, allocates a certain amount in each category in labeled envelopes (food, drinks, movies, etc.). Once the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category.

How to Create a Good Budget

The principles that make a good budget, something you can stick to:

  • Being Realistic: Being too strict is a recipe for failure.
  • Making Adjustments: A budget is not set in stone, but a fluid thing.
  • A Team Sport: If you live with a partner or spouse, you have to agree mutually on how to budget the financials.
  • Expect the Unexpected: Keep an emergency fund, ideally 3-6 months of necessary expenses.
  • Budgeting the Expected: Certain upcoming expenses need to be budgeted in advance, like property tax, holiday shopping, etc.

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Financial Personalities

There are five different types of financial personalities, each of them having their own set of values and outlook towards money:

  • The Big Spenders: The ones who place a high val...
Saving Tips For All Types

After you have figured out your financial personality, here are a few tips to save money:

  • Big Spenders need to consider fun alternatives to the high-purchases with things that cost little but bring real quality and happiness and lead to savings.
  • Savers need to start living their lives, and not live in misery in the present, just for some future security.
  • Shoppers need to recognise the emotions and value in saving money for their future, like a dream home.
  • Debtors need to put some money in automatic saving funds to build their savings.
  • Investors would do great in future, but can also make do with some purchases in the present, striking a balance.
How much you should save every month
How much you should save every month

The popular 50/30/20 rule states that you should reserve 50 percent of your budget for essentials like rent and food, 30 percent for discretionary spending, and 20 percent for savings.

But ...

Why 20 percent is recommended

Assuming you're in your 20s or 30s and can earn an average investment return of five percent a year, you'll need to save about 20 percent of your income so you can reach financial independence when you're older.

Financial independence means that you can maintain your chosen lifestyle entirely from the interest of your investments and dividends.

The four percent rule

The four percent rule states that you could withdraw four percent of your principal balance every year and live on this indefinitely. That means you need to save 25 times your annual expenses to become financially independent.

The four percent rule is not perfect. There is no risk-free investment that yields that much today. Sudden inflation could also cause a problem.

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Investing

... is the trading of your money today for a lot more money in the future. It is a high yield over the long term.

What happens to your money

Banks don’t like to give away their money. That mindset is reflected in the interest rates of checking and savings accounts of 0,5% and 0.9% avg. annual interest respectively.

When you deposit your money in the bank, the bank turns around and invests that money at 7% a year or more. After they collect their profit, they give a tiny shaving of it to you.

Portfolio and Diversification
  • Your portfolio reflects your long-term wealth building investment strategy – not the short term. It includes everything you own. Your retirement accounts, your investment accounts, even your home are types of investments.
  • Diversification is a way to describe owning multiple types of investment assets. Diversification is smart because you both protect yourself from failure and position yourself to take advantage of multiple robust methods for building wealth.

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