Managing Your Money

Saving money can be difficult when income is limited but there are some simple tricks that can be used to end the month with money in your pocket. First, you should create a budget. Be realistic about your expenses. Compare your budget to your actual expenses each month. Use your bank statements and credit card statements to determine these numbers. You may find that your budget needs to be adjusted because your initial estimates are too low. However, you may also find that you waste a significant amount of money on things you don’t need, like expensive coffee, going out to eat, or ATM withdrawals. Once you understand where your money is going it is easier to create a plan for saving.

Second, get a savings account and use it. Include in your budget an amount you save each month and put the money in a savings account so that it isn’t easily accessed. If you have to actually go to the bank to get money you may be less likely to spend it. At some point you may have an emergency and need to access this money, but if you do, at least you will be able to pay cash and save the interest that would have accrued if you used a credit card.

Third, get rid of your debit card. Debit cards make it too easy to spend money. Carry cash instead and give yourself an allowance of what you are allowed to spend each pay period on the expenses that fluctuate, like clothing and food. Use a check register so that as you spend money you are keeping track of your available balance so that you aren’t surprised when your balance gets low. When your balance does get low stop spending money. This sounds simplistic but we spend money each day on things that aren’t absolutely necessary. When your checking accounts get low you should stop all of these types of purchases. By using these simple suggestions you will find that you are better able to save your money, and as a result, avoid using credit cards and have more money in the long run.