Top 10 Tips for Money Management
By Will Ebert
What You Need to Prepare for your financial future
Whether you want it or not, the future is coming and all those pesky responsible that come with being an adult; it's not as much fun having all the freedom in the world when you have to take care of yourself, pay bills, etc. While in your wonderful imagination you may predict you will be a millionaire and not have to worry about money, I'm sorry to say that won't be the case. You will have to manage your money and getting prepare sooner is better than later. Managing your money can be a chore if you don't know where to start so here's the "Top Ten Tips" for money management (*geared towards teens and adolescences*).
Take Charge of Your Life and Your Money
If you want to get anywhere in life you have to take charge and be assertive, so make sure that it is you making your own decision with your own money. Start your financial planning and set goal for your self and your money. There are three steps you need to take for your financial planning: Define your financial goals, make plans to reach that goal, and take action until your goals become a reality. How much do you plan to save for a new car $50 a month, $100? Start asking yourself these questions until you have a plan.
Get Organized and Keep Track
KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING THAT COST MONEY! While you might think that just one or two little purchase aren't that important, you'll find that these little purchases add up fast. Write down all purchases you make in a checkbook or other notebook. Take a few hours every month (or week) and organize all your financial paper and put them in labeled folders, this will make is much easier for you in the future, and most important keep all your bills together! Making sure you don't lose any of you bills and keeping up with the payments is crucial to keep up a good credit score and avoid falling into debt.
Set the Ground Rules Regarding Money
Make ground ruled: what you can permit spending money, what you can't, and how you plan to make that money. It is important for teens and emerging adults to discus with your parents your financial situation now and for the future, do you plan to work during college or just live off a monthly "parent fund", can you expect your parents to help if you have a financial crisis or will you be on your own? These are important question to ask yourself and your parent when preparing to head off to college or head out on your own and setting ground rules for money is an important set in that leap to adulthood.
Separate "Needs" from "Wants"
While you may see that new Iphone 12Q as a "need", a regular phone that has no internet and maybe not even texting (do they even make those?) will be a more cost effective way to manage and save money. Make a list of things you physically "need", not just the bare minimum, but what you need to somewhat function in modern society and then make a list of your "wants" and find what you can afford from that list and what "wants" are most important to. Finding out what you value is most important to deciding what you "want": do you value education over a new car, or would you rather travel then go to an expensive college, these are the tough question that you will have to ask yourself sooner than you think.
Create a Budget and Stick to It
Creating a budget is important when preparing for your financial future and even more important is sticking to that budget. Don't go on a budget and every so often go one day where you break that budget, stick to it all or nothing. By keeping track of your budget you should be able to better limit your purchase and maybe find a few ways to save you money. Also make sure that the budget is obtainable and leave room for some flexibility. Don't be discouraged if a budget fails! Learn from you mistakes and be better suited for the future.
Resit Peer Pressure
Your friend may very well be your enemies when on a budget or planning for your financial future. Peer pressure is a powerful force and everyone has been affected by it whether they know it or not, but to make sure you stay on track you have to overcome peer pressure and maybe miss out on a few events that you would have liked to go to. Often your friends may try to convince you to go somewhere or do something that doesn't fit in your budget and you need to stick to your plan and be assertive. Tell your family and friend that you are on a budget; they will most likely understand and help you stay on track.
Pay Yourself First
Saving money is keep to any secure and stable financial future so make sure that every month (or week) you are putting a large sum (as much as you can afford) into a savings account. Always save first then use whatever money is left over to purchase your "wants". You will need this money for the future especially if you have to pay off college loan or plan on buying a house or apartment. Getting in the habit of constantly saving your money is a good habit to get into and can help you out of a jam if you ever have an emergency where you need more money.
Build Good Credit
Building good credit is key to a better financial future, when you need loan or request a new credit card, having good credit is always a key figure in having a lower interest rate. Good credit is incredibly easy to obtain, simply staying on task and paying all your bills improves your credit score. Having good credit is immensely important in taking out a loan for buying a house, a car, and is even required (to be seen) when getting a job.
Talk To a Financial Aid Officer if Your Situation Changes
Don't be afraid to get help! If you need financial advise or help, see a specialist; seeking help doesn't mean your weak, it means your strong enough to admit you need help. Even getting advise from friends, family, teachers even, can help you set a plan for the future, they all have more experience than you and can definitely give you advice. Refusing to get help can only worsen your situation and put you in a position that you can't get out of and leaves you in a pit of debt.
Net-worth is not the same as Self-worth
DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED! Do not expect everything to go well in your financial life. Don't give up! Just because someone might be in better economic status doesn't mean they are necessarily "better" than you, don't judge your life based on your economic status; enjoy it!