|Happy New Year to you and your Family!!|
Lets start the new year right, shall we? Lets setup a 2014 budgeting plan. Did you struggle with organizing and handling your finances in 2013? Lets not carry over that bad habit over into 2014. Lets make 2014 a better year financially!
Studies have shown that we, of African american, Caribbean and Latino descent tend to have the worse financial problems in America if not the world. Have you ever stopped to wonder why? The answer: we tend to not budget as effectively and struggle at sticking to a budget.
I am by no means a financial adviser, however the tips below have helped me with money management - so I figure I would share:
- Make a budget and stick to it. Ok, Ok, we hear this a lot and we might do it for the first week and then its the old routine again. But hear me out. We can do this. In 2014 we will make a change. We live in a technology savvy world, so why not make use of it? There are loads of free and paid apps that can help you with budgeting and will motivate you to keep a daily log of spending. I have personally tried over 10 apps and came down to 1 that I feel comfortable recommending and that is Toshl Finance.
If you do not want to use apps, then I suggest buying a small notebook/pad that you can use just for budgeting and log everything you spend so you know if you are on track or not. I have a spreadsheet that I also use for keeping me in line, if you would like a copy send me an email at email@example.com
- List all of your expenses. This is more important than you think. Having a visual view of what your monthly responsibilities are can help you a great deal.
- View savings as an expense. To save is to pay a bill. A bill for your future. One of the most important bills/expense you might have is to Save.
- Always determine what is play money and stick to it. We work hard so we have to pay ourselves. After all bills have been payed or budgeted you must set aside money to enjoy. This is where your shopping comes from (this is play money).
- If your spending has reached your budgets capacity then guess what? You are now broke - and you better stay broke until next paycheck. You will always hear me say 'I am broke' at the end of the month. What this means is that I have spent all of my play money so now I am wiped out.
- Never touch savings unless its absolutely needed. Sorry to disappoint you girls, but shoes and clothes are not emergencies. This is also not vacation money. Vacation is an expense that should have been budgeted for. Set up a vacation account so you can save for vacation separate.
Biggest Tip Ever: Live within your means.