Do you feel good about how you manage money? Do you feel like you have too little? Does money seem to evaporate once it hits your bank account? I know exactly how you feel. Last year, I got really tired of feeling like money was the boss of me. So I decided to take charge. You can too.
1. Decide that you will be a wise steward of your money. Commit to spending an hour a week managing what you have and learning how to grow your money.
2. Examine all expenses. Last year, I cancelled my gym membership and stopped getting a massage every month. I refinanced my car twice to get lower interest rates. I moved my savings account to an online bank that pays higher interest rates. The biggest savings was dumping the cell phone carrier that I had for twenty years. All of these changes cut over $300 out of my monthly expenses. With the extra money, I made a few extra car payments and I increased my retirement plan contributions.
3. Change your mind. What you think about money might not be serving you. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker, gets to the root of our relationship with money. The root is mindset and early conditioning. Whether our parents sat down with us and taught us how to balance a checkbook or let us figure things out for ourselves, what they said about money and how they managed their money have a profound effect on what we think about money and how we manage it. In Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, Eker explains our money blueprints, and he uncovers how wealthy people, middle class people, and poor people think about themselves and how they think about opportunities and money.
4. Make sure you know the basics. Did you know that all basic money management principles will fit on an index card? In The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Complicated, authors Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack state that everything we need to know about managing money will fit on an index card. They wrote a book to explain each of the principles that fit on the index card. This book shows you how to manage debt, save for retirement, and invest. There’s also an excellent chapter on home ownership.
What apps or tools do you use to manage your money?