How to Make Your Money Go Further

What do you have to show for the money you make each month? Do you have good health, two cars, a home, a large savings account? Or do you have a pile of debts and zero assets?
The way you spend your money today will determine what you have six months from now, a year from now, five years from now, and in your lifetime. You control your financial destiny. You are responsible for the amount of money you earn and for the amount of money you spend.
Successful money managers control the way they spend their money. They use money to accomplish the things that are important to them. Good money managers manage their money rather than letting it dribble away from them.
Do you have control of the way you spend your money? Do you live within your income, or do you have to borrow money or use savings to meet your regular monthly expenses? Living within your income requires careful planning. It requires self discipline and the ability to say no to unnecessary spending.
The ability to manage money has to be learned, developed, and practiced on a daily basis. There are eight steps to successful money management:
1. Get organized.
2. Decide what you want to do with your money.
3. Look at all available resources.
4. Decide how much money you are worth.
5. Find out how much money you make.
6. Find out how much money you spend.
7. Set up a plan for spending your money and stick to it.
8. Evaluate your spending plan.

Following these eight steps will help you get control of your spending habits.

1. Get organized.
Do you keep all of your bills and important papers in one location in your home? An organized business center will help you manage your family financial matters. Keep all of your family records and business correspondence in one location.
When you receive any bill or important letter from a creditor, put the correspondence in its proper place in your business center. If you and a creditor disagree about how much you owe or the way you pay your bills, you’ll have your own records to prove what has happened to date.

women-money
Your business center may be elaborate or simple. The type of system doesn’t matter as long as you have some way to organize your financial papers.
Papers may be separated by using large envelopes or individual file folders in a box or cabinet. Another alternative would be to use a three-ring notebook with dividers. Dividers with pockets can be used to
store loose paper.
Label your files or the dividers for your notebook according to the types of records you keep.
For example, labels might be tabbed as follows:
• Net worth statement
• Record of earnings
• Record of expenditures
• Location of legal records
• Health records
• Real estate records
• Family papers
• Household inventory
• Employment records
• Automobile
• Housing
• Utilities
• Clothing care and information
• Credit card and installment payments
• Insurance
• Tax records
• General household information
Keep supplies needed for handling your business transactions in your business center. Keeping envelopes, stamps, pens, pencils, checks, a calculator, and a calendar at your fingertips will speed your monthly bill paying. If you have a computer, you may want to use a record keeping program. (You will still need to keep your paper receipts.)

2. Determine your goals.
Good money management begins with goal setting. Goals give you direction. They give you a purpose for the way you spend your money. Goals motivate and encourage you as you work toward doing things that are important to you.
What are some of the things you want to accomplish during your lifetime? Which of these cost money? Set up a plan for how you want to achieve these goals.

How do you set goals for spending your money?
First you need to think about the things that are important to you and your family. Read over the list below. Pick out the things you and your family think are most important and place a “1” beside them. Place a “2” beside the things that are  somewhat important. Place a “3” beside the things that are not very important to you and your family.

  • Religion
  • Education
  • Family vacation
  • Making lots of money
  • Saving money
  • Starting a new business
  • Personal appearance (clothes, shoes, makeup, hair)
  • Culture (theater, movies, dance, recitals)
  • Job success
  • Prestige
  • Food
  • Insurance
  • Recreation
  • Boat, fishing equipment
  • Household furnishings
  • Transportation (car, truck, cycle)
  • New house/condominium, apartment)
  • Health
  • Family activities
  • Friends
  • Paying off debts
  • Jewelry
  • Attracting opposite sex
  • Entertainment
  • Other

As an individual, you may have trouble deciding which item is more important than another. It’s even more difficult when two or more people live together as a family unit and share money. They may not agree on what is important. Because of
this lack of agreement, it is sometimes difficult to decide where money will be spent.
Once you decide what is important to you, this list will help you see what you want to work toward.
For example, if you placed a “1” beside a new car, your goal may be to buy a new car. Goal setting involves more than deciding what’s important to you. To help identify goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to do with my money?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take to get that much
    money?

When setting your goals, make a list. Write  down what you want to do with your money. Make your goals specific. Don’t say, “I want financial security.” Financial security is not very specific. Instead, ask yourself what it takes to be financially secure. Your answer might be to have $20,000 in savings when you retire in 20 years. If so, then you need to put $44.30 a month in a 5 ¾% savings account each month for 20 years. Your specific goal then is to save $44.30 a month from now
until you retire. This is a clearly defined goal. ? Your goal should be realistic, challenging, and achievable. Is it possible for you to take $44.30 out of your monthly budget and still meet your necessary living expenses? If you can afford $44 a month, your goal is realistic, challenging, and achievable. If you can only afford to save about $20 a month then you might have to reduce your long-term goal from $20,000 to $10,000.

Goals should be measurable and reachable within a given time period. Specify the date when you want to reach your goal. You can’t put a date on reaching financial security, but you can save $20,000 if you put $44.30 in savings for 20 years.
Your goals should be yours. Don’t let someone else set your goals for you. You will be much more likely to reach your goal if it is something you really want to do. Goals are different for each individual and family. They change as you go through the different stages of life.
Once you set your goals, picture your goals in your mind. See yourself living in that apartment, for example, or on the beach enjoying your dream vacation. Creative daydreaming puts your goals into your subconscious mind. Once your dream is in your mind, you start thinking of reaching that dream in ways you don’t even realize. You automatically see ways to make your dream become a reality. Fix in your mind the exact things you want. As you decide your goals, write own your short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals.

  • Short-term goals: the things you want to get done in the next week, next month, in six months, or a year.
  • Intermediate goals: the things you want to get done in the next one to five years.
  • Long-term goals: the things you want to do in the next five or more years.

As you list your goals, decide which goals you want to use your money for first. As you set dates for reaching your goals, ask yourself which goals are the most important and which are the least important.
Ask yourself the following questions as you decide which goals you will work toward.
How important is this to me and my family members?
How urgent is this?
What will I need to reach this goal in terms of money, time, energy, skills, knowledge, and ability?

Goals are important keys to successful money management. They can help you make your dreams come true within a specific period of time. Goals guide you so you use your money to do the things that are important to you.

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3. Look at all available resources.
To reach your goals, you’ll need to look at all the resources available to you. This will include your own skills and income, as well as other community resources. They may include time, energy, interests, knowledge, community service, or material goods.  Many times, community resources offer financial help and/or free or low-cost alternatives for expenditures. Such things as the library, cultural events, health department, parks, and transportation facilities provide services and recreation for the whole family at little or no cost.

4. Know how much you are worth.
How much money are you worth? If you added up everything you own and subtracted everything you owe, would you own more than you owe? Or would you owe more than you own?
Your financial net worth is determined by subtracting all you owe (your debts) from the current market value of all you own (your assets). This information will be useful when determining your insurance needs and when applying for loans, settling a divorce, or planning your financial future.
If you need to sell some assets to get cash to pay debts, your net worth statement will let you see what assets you have and how much they are worth.
Have a real estate agent estimate the current market value of your home or make note of the sale value of houses in your neighborhood. If you added up everything you own and subtracted everything you owe, would you own more than you owe? Or would you owe more than you own?

  •  Have an expert appraise current market value of your furniture, antiques, art, jewelry, and other valuables.
  •  Use a general merchandise catalog to estimate the value of other household items if you have lost the original sales receipts.
  • Check the financial page in a newspaper to estimate the current value of any stocks and bonds that you own.
  • Read your life insurance policy to determine the cash value.
  • Determine the cash value of your retirement plan(s). .
  • Include the value of savings accounts and certificates of deposit.

Get the appraised value of valuables in writing and ask the expert to sign the appraisal letter. For insurance purposes, these values need to be updated regularly. There may be a charge for the appraisal, but it will be worth it if you need to file an insurance claim or when you settle an estate.
Your net worth gives you an overview of your overall financial future. Use it to help you identify financial goals you would like to work toward.

5. Know how much you make.
How much money do you have to spend each month to meet basic living expenses and help you reach your goals? The money spent each month comes from various places. Money is usually obtained from one or more of the following sources:

  • Earnings from wages, salary, tips, commission, rent, interest, dividends, Social Security,retirement benefits
  •  Money received from relatives, friends, or the government in the form of transfer payments such as Social Security

Mortgage Interest Rates

Find Out Your Monthly Spendable Income
Find out how much money you have available each month by completing the following steps.

  • Find your most recent pay stub.
  • Look at the amount of gross pay. Gross pay is the amount of money you earn before deductions.
  • Look at the amount of money going to each deduction. How much of your gross pay goesto each deduction (what percentage)
  • Look at the amount of your take-home pay.
  • Your take-home pay is your gross income minus your deductions.
  • Look for your total spendable income. Total spendable income is your take-home pay plus money from other sources.

Make a spending plan for each month. Then when you get a check, spend it according to your  budget. If you get a larger-than-expected check, stick with the original spending plan and put the  extra in savings.

 

6. Know how much you spend.
How much money do you spend for food, housing, transportation, clothing, personal care, and other things? If you don’t know how much you spend each month for these items, keep a record of your spending. Write down everything you spend
every day for a month. When you make a purchase, write the amount down. The amount doesn’t have to be exact, but close enough to help you see where your money is going.
After you have a written record of where all of your money is going, divide your spending into categories:
fixed, flexible, and miscellaneous expenses.
Spending can also be divided into daily, weekly.
Your net worth gives you an overview of your overall financial future. Use it to help you identify financial goals you would like to work toward.
Know what type of expenses you have. Know when and where you spend money so you can build a sound money management program.

  • Fixed expenses. The expense items you pay a specific amount of money for every month for a certain period of time. These obligations are usually enforced through a signed contract. Some examples are rent or mortgage payments, life insurance, long-term care insurance, home insurance, and installment payments such as your car note. For most of these items, you cannot change the amount of the monthly payment.
  •  Flexible expenses. The expense items you have more control over. You decide how much you will buy and how much you will spend. Flexible expenses include food, clothing, gas, electricity, water, phone, transportation, gasoline, car maintenance, car insurance, personal care, medical expenses, furnishings, household expenses, education and professional expenses.
  • Miscellaneous expenses. The extra items you purchase that may not be absolutely needed. Some examples are music CDs, reading materials such as magazines, and recreational activities such as theater or movie tickets.

We’re lucky that all our expenses don’t have to be paid at the same time. We spend some money on a daily basis. We spend some on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis. Then set aside enough money so you can cover the expenses when the bills come due.
Some examples of seasonal expenses are property taxes; car, home, life and health insurance; license plate renewal fees; and vacations. Monthly expenses may include house payment, car note, and utility payments. Daily expenses include transportation and snacks.

7. Plan your spending.
Do you have a written plan to guide your spending?
First, write down the amount of money you have to spend each payday. As you develop your plan, see if you have allowed money for the following items:

 

  •  Major expenses and future goals, such as adding rooms to your home, buying a car,getting braces for your children’s teeth, paying for your child’s education, and buying a boat, gifts, or furniture
  • Emergencies, such as replacing a flat tire, medical expenses, car accident, unemployment, car repairs, dental bills, house repairs and appliance repairs
  • Seasonal expenses, such as school supplies and clothes; house, car, health, life, and disability insurance; real estate taxes; registration fees for children such as for sports activities; family vacation; birthday and Christmas gifts; and taxes.
  •  Debts or past-due bills, such as credit card balances, installment loans, and mortgage
  •  Monthly expenses, such as savings or investments, rent or mortgage, utilities, household supplies, food, contributions, installment payments, and medications
  • Daily expenses, such as school lunches and supplies, tobacco, snacks, and meals out
  • Miscellaneous expenses, such as civic club dues; newspaper or magazine subscriptions; laundry; clothing purchases and repairs; theater tickets, movie tickets, and other recreational activities; and personal care

Write down how much you plan to spend throughout the pay period, and try to stick with your plan. Remember to write down how much you spend and what you buy. Use those figures to calculate how much you actually spend. When you
start the next pay period you can compare what you planned to spend and how much you actually spent.
That will help you decide how you will spend your next pay check.
Stick to Your Spending Plan
Once you have put a dollar figure on what you will spend each pay period, what can you do to stick to your spending plan? Before you spend your next dollar, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Will this purchase help me reach my financial goals? If your goals are important enough to you, they will motivate you to stick with your plan.
  • Is this purchase listed on my spending plan?
  • What will I have to give up if I spend my money on this purchase? Do I really need this new pair of shoes, or do I need this money to buy groceries or gas for the car?
  • Make your new spending plan a part of your daily life. Use it as a guide to help decide where you can cut your expenses. For example, you may want to save $50 on clothing expenses and put that money in savings. Look for ways you can spend less money. Start using your spending plan today. Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Tell others what you’re trying to do, so they can encourage you along the way. Write down your new plan so it will be firmly
    planted in your mind.
  • Don’t let an exception get in the way of your new spending habits. If you start taking your lunch to work so you can cut food expenses, eating out one day will discourage your new habit and keep you from reducing your food bill. Stay away from tempting situations.

Take advantage of every opportunity to break your old buying habits and encourage the new ones. Continually look for ways to reduce your spending.
Do something every day that will help you save money. You may cut one coffee break at work. You may take your own instant coffee to work rather than buying coffee at the company cafeteria.
Finally, develop a reward system for successfully following your spending plan. If you save $600 by the end of six months, then put most of the money in a savings account and keep a small amount to buy yourself a special treat.

8. Evaluate your spending plan.
After you live with your spending plan a while, look it over. If you put $100 in savings at the first of the month and took out $50 before the end of the month, then maybe you can afford to save only $50 a month. That’s OK. At least you know what you are able to save. Reviewing your spending helps you decide exactly how much you can spend or save. Review your spending plan regularly and revise it so that it works for you. Ask yourself the following questions when you decide to spend your money:

  • Is this the best use of my money right now?
  •  Will this purchase help me reach my financial goals?
  • Is there something else I need to use this money for?

If you have trouble reaching your goals, work on disciplining yourself to follow your spending plan. A sincere commitment and dedication to your spending plan can help you manage your money better.
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Remember, what you have in the future will depend on what you do with your money today.

 

Source :- UK Cooperative

Hi.. I'm 30s and there's many mistakes I've done in my life. Honestly, I just

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