I was wanting to write on here today, but I couldn't figure out what to write. Then, thanks to my bestie, I figured it out. Today I want to talk a little about how frustrating debt is. I have debt... too much of it for sure, and I know it's all because I didn't know how to budget, and save, and manage my money right. Now that I have actually learned those things, I'm working (very hard) on paying all that debt off. I know it wont be over night, but at least I know I'm making dents in it.
I've learned a lot about budgeting and money management this last year, and it's made a huge impact on my spending and on my savings account. I actually don't exactly even use a savings account, I really just use an envelope (It's easier to spend a savings when you can just transfer it over to your checking). A few things I have learned I'd like to share with you. Now remember, I'm not a financial expert, I really only know what has worked for my family, and I have actually just taken these tips from my best friend and her husband (who really should be teaching everyone how to save money). So with that being said, here are a few ways to help you be better at managing your money.
1.) Make a list.
Make a list of all your bills. This includes groceries, gas for your car(s), savings, vacation fund, and regular bills. Make sure you include EVERYTHING that you pay each month. I have actually made an excel spreadsheet for my monthly bills, just so I would know how much is being paid where. You can also enter in your paycheck amount and add a few functions to the spreadsheet to subtract each bill from your check. This is way easier than I just made it sound BTW.
2.) Get some regular mailing envelopes.
No need to get fancy here, unless you really want to, but these envelopes will probably get super trashed. So buying expensive ones is not necessary. With these, I just write each bill I am paying on the envelope. I have a few bills that I always do online, so those ones I don't worry about. These bills are more like your grocery money, gas money, savings, rent, and whatever else you can pay in cash with. I know it's more convenient to pay everything online, but it will really help you stay on budget if you pay what you can in cash.
3.) Don't spend what you don't have
I can not stress this enough. We have SO many credit cards that are in collections ( we hit a rough patch and couldn't pay them) and now all we can do is continue to pay them off one buy one. It was so crazy that we had them in the first place. All we did with them was use money that wasn't ours. I understand that you can build credit with them, but to play it safe, I'd just give up on those dang Credit it cards all together.
Seriously, enjoy the feeling of saving up for something and finally being able to get it. Who does that anymore? Our society is so spent on needing what we WANT, and needing it now.
These are just some things that have really made an impact on how I manage my money, and I hope it can do the same for you!