Money management doesn’t come easy for everyone. Unless you are naturally inclined, or working in the field, managing finances can be a tough learning curve. It can often seem overwhelming and though it is an essential life skill, it is often lacking from our education.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it may seem. Though I can’t make all of its complexity simple, I can share some easy tips that will make your life just that much easier when it comes to managing your money!
Tip #1: Keep records
This is important! You will read this everywhere and with good reason. That’s because you just simply can’t manage something if you don’t know what elements need managing! To avoid any type of nasty surprise, like late fees or a letter from a collection agency, you need to keep record of everything.
That means compiling all your bills, but also keep records of your bank statements. You never know when you’ll be needing them. If you are like most people nowadays and receive your statements online, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll be able to access them anytime, as most banks will only hold your statements for about a year, maybe two. Save a copy to your desktop or make paper copies.
Tip #2: Sync your billing cycles
If you are having trouble planning when to pay what and getting payment cycles all over in the month, you may want to call up your companies to have them change their billing cycle. Most will be able to accommodate you. This way, you can sync up your billing cycle with your pay, making tracking of the ins and outs easier. This will also allow you to see how much money you actually have left from your pay to make other purchases, instead of inadvertently spending money only to realize you needed it for your internet bill 5 days later.
Tip #3: Set up reminders and automatic payments
To make sure never to forget a payment, set up pre-planned payments for the due date (actually, 3-5 days prior for online billing). Or, if you prefer to pay it manually, set up a reminder in your calendar and agenda. Don’t assume you’ll remember. With the quantity of bills and payments we have, added to the demands of our lives, a payment is easily forgotten and that could end up costing you.