It’s happening… we’re having the money talk. I know most people don’t like talking about their financial life besides from how much they spent or what clothes they bought. But it’s a topic that needs to be discussed if you want to make a better future for yourself and your family. Now I am no financial advisor but I am a planner, which means I love writing everything down and keeping track of it; so naturally I like to handle my money. So I have come up with a few tips and tricks that have help me along the way!
Budget, Budget, Budget
Keeping up with what’s coming in and out of your bank account is crucial
- Know what your making (Income)
- Write down your needed expenses (Car insurance, cell phone bill, gas, car payment, utilities, rent, mortgage)
- Savings & Investing (20% of your income and up is usually average, then distribute it into a mutual fund, TFSA, savings account or direct investing account)
- Now for the fun part of dividing up the rest of your money into categories (Entertainment, food and dining, groceries, shopping, gifts, pharmacy, gym and whatever else you want)
A rule you can use if you’re needing some help is the 50/30/20 rule where 50% of your income is on necessities, 30% on wants and 20% is saved.
One app that has helped me immensely with tracking everything I spend is MINT. With Mint you connect your bank account, credit card and all of your financial accounts you have to it and it automatically categorizes all your expense and revenues for you. You can then set a budget for your income and from that make your expenses budget. You can create goals for yourself that will help you pay off your debt. It will also send you bill reminders and notifications when you go over budget. Its a life saver!!! I have showed all my friends it and even made personal budget for them on it.
Once you have a budget and can track what you’re spending each month you can see where your area’s of weakness are with spending. For me it’s with eating out and shopping… typical girl haha. So my monthly goals are always to spend less on dining out and buying clothes; here are my tips for saving your money and making sure you are staying inside your budget.
- Bring your lunch to work or school
- Always have snacks on you. So if you get hungry you won’t get the urge to buy something, it sounds funny but you will always find trail mix in my bag.
- Make coffee at home. You can treat yourself of course but I try to keep it to once a week… key word “try.”
- Workout at home. Gym memberships and classes are so expensive now a days; there are so many free online workouts you will never get bored)
- Make a list of free activities to do around town so when a friend or loved one wants to get together you can suggest one (everyone loves a free hangout date)
- Pay with cash or debit. Now I know paying with credit can get you come great rewards but if you don’t do your do-diligence to pay it off right away, it can get messy. My suggestion is to operate on a cash basis until you get into a groove of your budget boundaries.
- Save up for big purchases. If you are wanting to maybe spend some extra money on a pair of shoes, a bunch of clothes, a new phone or macbook I would suggest saving up the money before buying it; rather than putting it on credit and then paying it off. Even if you have the money, wait till the end of the month and if you still want it, then purchase it. It will make you appreciate your money and your purchases more. Also start saving for christmas presents NOW! haha
- Cut the small stuff. If you have lingering subscriptions to boxes or magazines that you don’t really need nor use; go ahead and cancel it.
- Automatic transfers are your best friend. Setting up automatic transfers within your account that transfers your money to your savings, TFSA, mutual fund, an account for your bills or your vacation fund will help with not spending more than you have and help your savings account. That way in your chequing account there will only be the money you can spend.
- Meet with your financial advisor. Meeting with your bank on a yearly basis about your accounts, savings and future is always a good idea. They are there to help you and can answer any questions you need financially.
I hope these tips and tricks helped and gave you some idea’s for your savings and spending.
xox- Cupcakes & Curls