Money Management Tips
Unfortunately, very few of us learn money management at a young age. It’s only later, when we’re much older, that we realize the importance of money management. Often, we come to this realization after having fallen into a really messy financial situation, and so, it’s probably late by then, but it’s never too late to learn something new and as useful as that. Regardless of your current financial situation, here are some money management tips that you may make use of – right now!
1. Spend less than what you earn
Spending less than what one earns is actually the most basic money management tip, and it holds true for businesses and giant corporations, as much as it does for an average individual. The less money you spend, more you save, and you need all the savings you can get, as it would mean not having to rely on credit card debt, as well as making it easier to pay off existing student loans or bank loans.
2. Track your expenses
It’s important to prepare a monthly expense statement, just as a typical small business does. Just list your expenses for the month. Find out what’s truly essential and what’s not. Arrive at an ideal monthly budget which is just right for you and your family. Stick to it for the rest of the year, see how it goes and make subtle adjustments if needed.
3. Avoid paying by credit card, as much as possible
The average household credit card debt in the United States is $7,283 – which is quite a lot. The reason for this is an attitude that so many people have – using their credit cards for making every possible payment, even minor ones, refusing to pay by cash. This goes against their financial interest as because of the interest rates charged by credit card companies, they end up paying more than they would had they simply used cash instead. Also, using cash as much as possible, keep a check on mindless spending; you would be a lot smarter about where your money goes.
4. Start saving for your retirement in your 20s or 30s
We hope you’ve already started saving for your retirement, if you haven’t, high time you did. Let’s consider an example. If you’d invested $10,000 at the age of 21 at an interest rate of 8%, your investment would be worth $172,000 at your retirement, while, had you saved the same money at the age of 31, at the same interest rate, your investment would be worth $79,000 at retirement – which is significantly less. That’s why it’s so important to start saving early for retirement. Make the magic of compound interest work in your favor.
5. Stop eating out, stop going to Starbucks
So many people in the United States fall into credit card debt, which they cannot pay because of the old habit of eating out at fast food centers. Equally, it’s hard to understand the fascination for a coffee at Starbucks, when it’s possible to make much better coffee at home. There was a time in America, not so long ago, when people used to have only home cooked food. They used to eat out, but only on rare occasions. No wonder folks were a lot healthier back then, both financially and physically.
6. Build an emergency fund
You never know when an emergency might strike you. It could be a medical emergency, an accident which could mean not being able to work for a year, or losing a job because of a layoff. It’s important to be prepared for such a situation. Set aside an emergency fund comprising of your earnings for a period of six months. This creates a safety net you can bank upon when you need it most.
7. Shop wisely
There is no reason to pay extra for a particular brand name when you’re buying food or clothes. Go for generic brands instead. Do your shopping at thrift stores or dollar stores as often as you can. Visit yard sales and garage sales, perhaps you might pick something valuable for very little.
8. Know when to say NO
It’s never a good idea to take the kids with you to a shopping mall, as they would want everything they like, and it would be so cold hearted of you to say no to them. Well, kids are too young to be discerning, but you should know better. Don’t go rushing after every new Apple product that comes out, for instance. Have patience, wait for 6 months, the same precious iPhone model will be available on eBay for a fraction of the original cost. But it’s important to be very patient and to exercise supreme self-control over yourself. Nobody said it was going to be easy!
5 Tips to Get Fit by Spending Very Little or Nothing At All
During bad economic times, such as most global economies are experiencing right now, different people use different ways of trying to lower their bills. This includes cutting down on what many would call “non-essentials”, like giving up on your gym membership. But is going to the gym really a non-essential activity when you hear of people suffering from lifestyle diseases every day? The answer is an absolute “No!” But you don’t have to spend a fortune on it either, because there are a myriad of ways you can work out without even setting foot in a gym or having any gym equipment at home. Check out the compilation of our top five ways below:
1. Make the Stairs Your Friend
Rather than using the elevator, take the stairs most of the time. For instance, if your workplace is located 20 floors up, make it a habit to use the elevator for only 15 floors and walking up the remaining five. You could also run the stairs or bleachers in your local stadium once in a while. You don’t really have to spend anything on this kind of workout, right?
2. Walk and Stretch
If you walk three to four times just around the block, for a total of 12 to 16 blocks, that is the equivalent of a whole mile walking exercise. It’s also a good idea to warm-up a little, maybe spend about 30 minutes stretching and going through your muscles to build more flexibility.
3. Pushups, Sit-ups, Squats and Pull-ups
These are very simple exercises that you can do right there at your backyard without having to go anywhere or spend anything. You can start with just 100 pushups per day and see how your arms change in just a few weeks! When your arms are in great shape, add in some 200 sit-ups. These will help transform your abs tremendously. It’s also a great idea to do some 200 squats for the legs and 25 pull-ups. What’s more, you can employ the help of some YouTube videos and see how your body transforms in just about six to eight weeks without even using any expensive gym equipment. However, remember to wear a comfortable sweat suit, which will help you exercise for sure. In fact, City Sports offers good deals on athletic apparel so feel free to check out their site.
4. Jogging and Sprinting
You can choose to either jog in place right there in your house, in front of your TV, or go out jogging in the mornings. Just get yourself a good pair of jogging shoes at Online Shoes at budget prices and consider this: only half hour of jogging can burn up to 300 calories. Alternatively or additionally, you can take some 20 sprints of your local football field every morning to keep fit. If you have problems with being consistent you may want to check one of these fitness blogs presented by Healthline.com.
5. Dancing and Jumping Jacks
Remember the dancing moves that you saw your daughter doing the other day? Yeah, just relax your body and try some of them as you prepare dinner! They can burn you a load of calories and increase the levels of your cardiovascular fitness tremendously. Jumping jacks are another way of achieving the same effect; just make sure to leave enough room for full and free movement of both your arms and legs during the exercises so you don’t hit anything.