“A wise man should have money in his mind not in his heart: Jonathan Swift”
Money may look like a mere tool to buy utilities but managing it is not a cake walk. A man, who knows how to manage his money well, can stay ahead of time and stay covered for any adverse situation. Having a decent income source is important but making the most of that income is what requires skill and expertise. Since childhood we are taught to tame our expenses and save as much money as possible, which is not necessarily a wrong practice but we need to change the perspective.
Do you have no money in your bank account at the end of a month?
Do you spend less and still end up with no or negligible savings?
Well, that is because you haven’t mastered the art of money management. While savings are important, they key to financial stability is money management. If you know how to manage money like a boss, your current income will never feel insufficient or less.
Contrary to a common belief, more saving doesn’t necessarily mean more money. Sometimes badly managed savings are equivalent to no savings at all. While many old and wise men may suggest you to save a substantial amount from your income, you have to make sure whatever you save is not sitting idle in your savings account yielding a good for nothing standard interest. So, the big question is, how on the earth can you make the most of your existing income?
Let’s discuss a few ways in which I will tell you how to manage money and I haven’t saved a fortune but I don’t usually end up with an empty wallet.
Disclaimer: I am in no way shape or form a financial expert, these are some things I learnt and implemented from common knowledge and experience.
Have a Rainy Day fund
Most of the time we save money, aiming for a particular purchase. For example a lot of us save for a house, a car or a vacation. These in my opinion or not necessarily savings, I call them potential expenses. Savings on the other hand is a chunk of money that can be used to take care of emergency or unexpected expenses, let’s call it ‘Rainy Day fund”. These are unannounced expenses, like sudden damage of a good or emergency services. It should be a fixed amount that you decide to save on a monthly basis.
I know it is not as simple as I think, so I have created a very simple formula to compute the “Rainy Day fund”
Total Income- UB (utility bills like electricity, rent, travel etc) + Liabilities (Loans, mortgage etc)
After you apply this formula, the amount you get is surplus. From this surplus amount, set a percentage that you will be saving every month. This amount will stay constant, until you get a raise or another source of income.
Prioritize your purchases
If you are anything like me, you are an impulsive shopper. Everything you find on deal entices you to spend cash. This was a case with me when I started earning. Since, I didn’t have a lot of liabilities, all my money was ending up either in my shoe closet or junk food joints. Slowly I started to realize that I am spending way too much and that is when I started to prioritize my purchases. I haven’t restricted my spending or cut down any of my usual expense in any way. In fact, I have set a budget for these purchases. I create a “to purchase list” and try to stick to it. Once, I have this checklist, I am aware of my spending and nothing comes as a surprise.
Buy what you afford, afford what you buy
Purchasing fancy and eclectic stuff on credit is a very tempting proposition, it is nothing but liability. I always suggest people not to buy things they can’t afford. Which means that if you are planning to buy something on credit save for it and buy it in cash or instant payment. Credit card purchases comes with a lot of hidden charges, terms and conditions. If by any chance you are not able to pay your credit card bill on time, the bank will impose high rate of interest and you will end up paying even more on an already expensive purchase. Also, converting big amounts into easy EMIs is not a very good option either. So don’t buy anything you can’t afford instantly or else save for it.
Splurge! Like you mean it
Well just because I am asking you to manage money well, doesn’t mean you start curbing your desires. Okay! Let’s create new bucket of expenses, “the fun fund”. Try to put some amount of your income in this bucket and do this regularly. Even if you don’t use the fund that month itself, the amount can be carried forward and splurged later.
Here is a table format that will help you keep a track of your expenses
|Expense Bucket||Amount assigned||Amount spent|
|Rainy day fund|
|Savings||Amount assigned – Amount spent|
These are some ways I manage my money and I had been able to effectively do that. You can follow these tips and share your results with us and we will be more than happy to share it. We hope that you like these tips to manage your money effectively.
What ways do you manage your money?
Do share your thoughts with us