Are you living within your means? Do you know exactly what you are spending each month or are your outgoings escalating out of control? When was the last time you carried out a financial health check? If your answers are no, no and never then read on!
Managing Your Money – Take Charge of Your Finances
There are many important responsibilities to take care of as an adult Ã¢â‚¬â€œ our health, family, work, friendships, hobbies and home – but how many of us devote as much time to our financial health, as we do to all the other tasks we have to perform? Not many of us! Yet managing your money successfully, underpins your ability to enjoy and make the most of all of the other aspects of your life.
Why not think about setting aside some time each week to go through your finances and make sure that you are on track for the month? It really will be worth the time and effort and you will probably find areas where you can save money.
The first thing to do is to set out your monthly budget including whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s coming in and whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going out.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s usually easy enough to work out what we have coming in Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the list is often a lot shorter than for the one going out! You will need to include your wages or government benefits and any family assistance that you receive. If you have any other regular incoming funds add them also.
Working out Your Outgoings
Make sure that you include absolutely everything you are spending each month. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s often the little things that add up and take us over our monthly budget. So apart from the big costs such as mortgage or rent payments, food and loans which you will need to list, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forget to also include:
* Lunches Ã¢â‚¬â€œ (yours, your childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and your partners)
* Those little trips to the local shop
* Birthday Cards and Presents
* ChildrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Pocket Money
* Meals Out/Take Aways
* Charity Donations
* VetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Bills
* ChildrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Clubs and Activities
* Lottery Tickets
Once you have a figure for your incoming finances and one for your outgoings, simply take one from the other to see if you are over or under your monthly budget. You may be surprised at what you find!
If you are going over your monthly budget you are more than likely using your credit card frequently to pay for extras. This is ok in the short term as long as you can pay off your credit card debt each month, but managing your money in this way over the long term can lead to your debts spiralling out of control, especially when you consider how much the credit card companies are making out of you.
Look through your list of outgoings and see what you can cut down on or cut out altogether and start taking charge of managing your money instead of it managing you!