Managing Money

I’ve been working for quite a few years now. Most of the jobs were part time and paid enough to satisfy a young adult living with her parents. I didn’t overspend, but I wasn’t very careful with my earnings either. There wasn’t a lot of future planning and educating myself financially. It was only after I had to deal with things like “retirement plans” and “investment accounts” that I realized, “Huh, I don’t know what any of this means.” A lot of us are grossly unprepared; we think that as long as we can make it from paycheck to paycheck we’re good.

It’s time to think more responsibly on how to manage those earnings

Most schools will teach the academics but hand you the short stick for dealing with real life matters. You might learn about the basics in economics 101, but still come out with no idea of how to handle your own one person-economy.

Probably after enjoying a few weeks of your first stable job, it’s time to think more responsibly on how to manage those earnings. Regardless of how comfortably you’re living, you need to get the basics. It is a healthy habit to adapt money-managing habits, and will be a blessing in cases of emergencies. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Talk to your peers and upperclassmen. Chances are that they’re experiencing or have already experienced what you’re going through, and can guide you with their tips and tricks. It’s a good thing to buddy up when learning a new skill. Discuss what you’ve learned and what you can learn together. Money management is a life skill that your future selves will be grateful for.
  2. Go out and research. If you’re lacking in the qualified friends department, and have been elected the most responsible of your clique then researching will help. Watch videos such as the Financial Diet which give an overview and explain all the questions you have. There are numerous blog posts and educational channels out there which can answer your questions in a digestible manner.
  3. Apply what you learn little by little. You’re not going to be the best budget-er within a week. It’s going to take time and certain lifestyle adjustments. The most important thing is that you are willing to try. Putting knowledge to action will hopefully increase a feeling of responsibility and motivation to do more.
  4. Adapt to what works for you! Maybe apps like “Mint” or “You Need  A Budget” don’t tickle your fancy and you want to try something else. Perhaps you’ve realized that manually recording your spending in a leather bound ledger is much more effective and eye opening. That’s great! It might be recommended to put 15% into savings, but maybe you can’t afford that. Or perhaps you can put in more. Learn and adapt.

So go ahead! Make your own spreadsheets! Set your own goals! Begin somewhere and soon. Having accountability will do wonders, even if you don’t feel the need to be accountable. It will be very rewarding once you realize that you won’t face major setbacks after an unforeseen accident or that you can afford to take your dream vacation in the foreseeable future.

Don’t forget to share your money managing tips with us.

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