To the beginner…
Money management is not just for big corporations. It is for you and I as well. It doesn’t need to be labeled with terms like money management or budgeting. If you are where I was, it means nothing more than GETTING RID OF THE CHAOS.
If you are just beginning to get your financial life in order – I am excited for you! It is a fun journey and it is well-worth the effort. The peace that comes with knowing how much money you actually have and being in control of your spending is truly priceless.
Not too many years ago I was out of control financially with my maxxed out credit card and empty (and likely overdrawn) bank accounts, and not a dollar in savings. I decided that I was not going to live my life out of control and had to get things in order.
It did take a little work and a little time, but it is not much different than cleaning out a junk filled garage. It looks like an overwhelming task, but once you get going, it is easy to keep going. And once it is finished, it brings a sweet taste of satisfaction of a task accomplished.
If you are looking for a way to get your bank accounts set up to to make bill-paying simpler I have laid out how I organize my bank accounts. And how I manage my bill payments will show you the steps that I take to keep my bills in order and pay them 2 times a month.
I also use a balance sheet to keep track of my financial life. You can also download a copy of my balance sheet template that I use.
If you are making the wise move to start a budget, I suggest reading how to make a budget, why budgeting is like baking cookies to get some fun into your budgeting, and these 4 quick tips to sticking with a budget.
Download some free budget software or a household budget template to get your budget set up. Then you can learn some techniques with how to budget with the envelope system or how to budget with ING direct.
If you are having trouble finding money to save read how to find money to save. One great way to find extra money to save, is to use the money from your raises at work. Read what to do with a raise for a more detailed analysis of what I do with each raise.
As you take your beginning steps with managing your money you will find that it is a lonely journey sometimes. Most people do not ever get their financial lives in order, and sometimes you can feel like you are not normal. Well, the truth is that in the U.S. “normal” means living paycheck to paycheck and in debt up to your eyeballs. Who wants to be normal anyway? Here are 16 ways to save money by not being “normal”
Building an Emergency Fund
One of the best tips for beginners is to build an emergency fund. Experts recommend anywhere from 1 month to 6 months of your expenses. It really depends on your personal situation.
Don’t be intimidated by the amount, just start saving, realize it may be a distant goal, and keep going and you will get there!! It is a very comforting feeling, knowing that if the car breaks down or the water heater breaks that you have money in reserve waiting for it.
If you are wondering if you need an emergency fund you can read “do I need an emergency fund?” and if you already have one and are looking for ways to make more money with it check out how to make more money with your emergency fund.
Saving for Retirement
So you want to retire? You mean you don’t actually want to work until you are 85? Good, me neither. The good news is that it is never too late to start saving for retirement. And, the earlier you start, the better off you will be. I have a quick and easy solution for twenty-somethings to retire well off.
I think this should give you a good start at managing you money like a pro, keeping checking back (or get updates in your inbox) as I regularly aim to provide money management tips for beginners and veterans alike…
Veterans: Do you have any suggestions for beginners? What financial advice do you wish you would have received when you first started the journey?