Learning how to be money smart is one of the essential components of being the most boss woman possible. That’s why it’s so important to know how to handle your money like a pro, so that one day you can have lots of savings and live comfortably.
It’s not always easy to take a look at your finances and make responsible life choices. (Let’s be real, even though we’re adults, adulting is not easy.) No young person knows how to spend their money correctly. But we’re here to help.
Here we’ve compiled some of the best strategies on how you can be the most money-savvy person you know! Read on to find out what you can do:
Go Through Your Account Statements
Pretty much no one wants to go through their spending records and receipts. However, tracking what you spend and adding your expenditures into a budget can be so useful to you. Doing this allows you to see where you spend most of your money. Therefore, you can reassess your spending to increase your savings. Cut out crazy costs and find money-saving alternatives. Because there’s always going to be some needless expenditure you can do without. How many times have you subscribed to another monthly service? There’s no way you’ll need all of them.
For instance, are you racking up impulse-buys at Starbucks? Dramatically save by learning how to make your own lattes.
We get it, paying bills sucks. But you do not want to rack up any interest rates. Please plan ahead for the bills you’re going to have to pay, and get them paid.
Create a Meal Plan and Shopping List
Not only does this method save cooking time and time spent in the grocery store, but it also saves a significant amount of money. Plan out your meals the week before. You can make a variety of different foods by using relatively essential ingredients. Make a list based on what you want to make and stick strictly to the list. Do not make impulse buys, because relying on restaurants will put a dent in your pocket, and put all your groceries to waste. Do yourself a favor and fall in love with at-home meals.
Get Health Insurance
Now we’ll admit it, nobody wants to pay for health insurance. This sounds basically like the definition of “adulting”. But your future self will be so grateful. At some point you will have to see a doctor, and you won’t want to pay for that out of pocket. So look around, it could come anywhere from your job, or the government’s Affordable Care Act. It doesn’t matter. You just need insurance.
Use Public Transport
If you live in a city with lots of trains and buses, it could be worth it to ditch your car. Using public transport is useful for decreasing your carbon footprint, but it also seriously saves you cash. No more car down payments, no buying gas, just cheap public transport fares.
Additionally, stay away from cabs or Ubers. Single person transportation is not where it’s at. Sure it’s convenient, but it’s a luxury. If your city has a strong subway or bus system, that should be your primary mode for getting around.
Your money is not who you are. If you’re having money problems, that’s fine! Please don’t put that on yourself, as it’s no different than any other obstacle.
Pay Your Bills On Time
We get it, paying bills sucks. But you do not want to rack up any interest rates. Please plan ahead for the bills you’re going to have to pay, and get them paid. Nowadays everything is automated, and you like won’t have to pay them physically. But always keep track of when those charges come up, as you never want it to be a surprise.
You can achieve this by setting up automatic reminders. If you’re more of a bullet-journal girl, write down when you have to spend on your monthly plans. Alternatively, if you’re a tech-lover, get an automated reminder app and program it to remind you whenever you need. You’ll never be late on payments again.
Keep Track of Your Financial Situation
This may seem like an obvious way to learn how to be money smart, but so few people are honest with themselves on this. Try to detach yourself from your money emotionally. Keep track of your budgets and understand where you’re at. If it helps, you could try looking at your situation from a mathematical and logical perspective rather than an emotional one. Because your money is not who you are. If you’re having money problems, that’s fine! Please don’t put that on yourself, as it’s no different than any other obstacle.
Additionally, see where you’re paying for luxuries and ask yourself if you need to purchase them as frequently as you do. Try no-spend challenges sometimes where you don’t spend any extra money outside of your budgeted amount. You can try this out for a week up to a month at a time. Obviously, you don’t always want to be doing a no-spend thing because sometimes you deserve to treat yourself. We have birthdays and holidays for a reason. But these should be the exceptions rather than the norm. A fast paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle is sure to end in disaster. Save yourself that trouble and think smarter.
And this is perhaps the most important one. Don’t let others pressure you into spending money when you don’t feel comfortable. You don’t have to go out and pay for drinks with friends if you don’t have the money. There’s always going to be another opportunity to do something fun. But when you have a limit, just say no. Anyone should understand, it happens. Plus, who in this day and age wouldn’t want to spend a relaxing night in.
Learning how to be money smart is the first step on the way to financial freedom. Once some healthy habits are in place, you’ll be unstoppable.
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