Talking about money management is probably one of my favorite things to do because aside from my love for writing, I really feel like I’m good at it. I still have to work out some of my own issues (student loans), but I have so much knowledge from my parents who have raised me on understanding the value of money.
It really makes me sad that kids these days are not being taught in schools how to pay their bills or learn how to save in general. I remember being in high school and the closest thing to being taught about money was in health class. Our teacher made us all pick a profession and we had to create a budget with it. We had to research the average salary, find an apartment, furniture, ect.. and we had to present it in a book report form. I remember it being hard but it was so fun at the same time.
Over the years, I’ve been very good at figure out how to pay all my bills, save and still have fun. I’ve had many people ask me how I do it? Here is how I do it:
Pay ALL Your Bills First: When pay day rolls around, I pay ALL my bills first. Before I purchase anything (even lunch) I pay all my bills that are due within that two week pay period. (See my blog post on “Never Be Late Again.”)
I Give Myself A Budget: I always give myself a two week budget, usually the same amount. This allows me to stay away from draining my bank account with big impulse purchases, but enough that I can buy that cute top or treat myself to take out when I feel like it.
I Break Down My Paychecks: After a budget is set, I calculate what I need to save for any future big purchases, whether it be for a wedding, for a gift, for a vacation, ect… Here is an example: If I know I have a wedding in July and I’m gifting that couple $300, I will back track my paychecks leading up to that wedding and break down my payment. I personally like to do $50 a check so I will usually start saving 3 paychecks out. My husband also puts in $50 so it’s usually doubled. But if you are single and paying for anything on your own, schedule it out months in advance. If the wedding we have lets say is July 13th. We will start putting $50 away, June 15th. On June 15th we will have $100 saved between us two and so on.
If $50 is too much, try $25 and just give yourself more time. Whatever your financial situation is set an amount and back check your paychecks. It will give you so much relief for not having to touch the money that is in your savings!
A lot of financial advisors always say you should put money into your savings before anything else. I am not a professional financial advisor; however, from my experience I personally feel it all depends on you. I have money coming directly out of my check into a small savings, I also have a Pension and I also have a Deferred Compensation from my full-time job. All of those are going toward my retirement. I do think it is necessary to have a decent size emergency savings fund which I am currently aiming towards!
It is all a work in progress. It’s about learning where you excel in your finances and where you need help! Never be ashamed for not knowing. The best thing to do is to ask for help and do your research in order to understand what works best for your household.
How do you all save for big purchases? I’d love to hear some awesome tips you may have!
Until next time…