Like most of general public, you may find that managing your money is an overwhelming task. But the consequences of not managing your money well can causes you to trap into financial crisis; when you are in the trap, more efforts and times are needed to get out from there.
With the enhancement for computer technology and many personal finance software have been released in the market, managing your money is no more a difficult task. The tough part is to get you started.
This article provides some information on how to get you started in managing your money. If you can’t do it all at least do more than you were doing, make progress. Then when that’s under control come back and add another chunk. Eventually you’ll have it all working for you.
The first step in managing your money is to figure out where you are at right now. To know this, you must list down all your ongoing expenses to a sheet of paper or into your personal finance system (if you are using a software application to manage your money). You may find that listing you ongoing expenses can be more difficult than it first seems; it is alright because everybody has the same feeling.
Try to list every pound you spent within the last twelve months. Can’t quite remember everything? Start with the ongoing monthly expenses then add in daily and weekly expenses like food and transportation. Then focus on non-regular expenses like haircuts, birthday expenses, and vacations. Write down as much as you can. Once you have a yearly total then divide by twelve to get your real monthly expenses.
Then, list down all your source of incomes including your job, gifts, garage sales, and income tax refunds. Once you have a yearly income figure divide it by twelve and your will get your average monthly income.
Compare your monthly income with your monthly expenses. If you get a positive result, you should glad that you have money left for saving or for other investment purposes; else you are adding debt to yourself and effort should put in place to find extra money to pay down your debt while making sure your necessities are taken care of.
List down your existing debt your owe exclude all those ongoing expenses listed above. Be sure and include all credit cards, car loans, and home mortgages. Then, add-in the loan’s interest rates, your monthly payment and any ongoing fees, like annual credit card fees, and determine how long it will take you to pay them off and the total amount paid. You may be shocked to see the figures; but relax, knowing these figures now will help to have a better picture on your debt situation and get them under control.
Your house, cars, investments, bank accounts or even your cash in hand are all your assets. Assets are what your own, list them down and compare them against what you owe (debts).
Get rid of debt
Now that you have a better idea of where you are and where you are headed. There are many methods which you can implement to reduce your debt and eventually eliminate them and enjoy a debt-free life. Among the common methods are:
Debt Consolidation Loan
Home Equity Loan
Once you have your debt under control. Next, you can start to build your wealth. This means you will have to invest it with the expectation of getting more money, returns. Your money must make more money. The safest investments have the lowest returns. The highest returns come with the highest risk. Learning how to balance your tolerance for risk and make your investment based on your risk profile.
Effectively managing your money is the only real way to get ahead financially. You must know the flow of your money in order for you to manage it effectively toward a debt free life.