We have heard time and time again that money doesn't grow on trees. How we wish it does. Life is super expensive! You may have even taken a second or third route to pursuing income.
I am no financial planner but the following tips will assist you in getting your finances in order and making the money you have last longer.
1. As soon as the mail arrives, separate the bills and put them into one designated area. Sort through them and put the bills into 2 folders labeled 1-15 for the first 15 days of the month, and the other folder labeled 16-31. Twice a month, designate a day to pay your bills. Be sure to schedule your bill paying day on your calendar so it gets done in plenty of time. By the way, I also keep a folder for medical reimbursement receipts for my insurance and for tax documentation.
2. Designate a separate auto depreciation account that money is transferred into monthly. It doesn't have to be a large amount. Have it transferred automatically, and sure enough, by the time you need to buy a car, you will have money to turn to.
3. What motivates a purchase? Do you shop when you're blue, stressed, frustrated, bored? If you know you use shopping as a coping skill, then don't set yourself up! Don't go to the Mega Bucks Boutique. Go someplace where the prices are reasonable and you won't replace your current emotion with guilt. Go to the dollar store. Yes, the all-incredible, super, glamorous collar store. You need to buy something, right? I buy generic children's Tylenol ($3-5), Band-Aids($2-4), shampoo($2-5), gift bags($2-3), all the trimmings for a child's birthday party($20-30), hair stuff for my daughter ($2-4), bath soap($2-4), cleaning supplies ($2-4) and on and on. Think about paying the cost of these items in other stores (listed in parentheses) and then think-I only paid a dollar. It is is amazing all the stuff people pay too much for and find on the shelves of these kinds of stores. Along with the good feelings someone gets when purchasing something expensive, there is a sort of a euphoria that can be felt when you save a significant amount of money. Better yet, later you don't feel guilty for saving your family $20. (Teresa Higginbotham)
4. Consolidate your credit cards. You may have heard this before and it is REALLY IMPORTANT. By paying the minimum monthly balance on many cards, you are paying lots of finance charges and postage. Choose 1 credit card with the lowest APR and highest credit limit. Transfer old balances to this card. Your balance will look a lot higher because all spending is on 1-2 cards. You will be able to pay a much larger balance though now that you only have 1-2 cards instead of 10!
5. Keep track of expenses. I don't mean a rigid budget, but for a month or so, keep a small notebook with you and record your purchases. Include the miscellaneous ones- the People magazine, snapple, and starbucks. Record these expenses and at the end of the month, total them and match them up against your income. You will see where the money is going. Perhaps much of it is falling into categories such as the miscellaneous one. You can cut back on these incidentals by assessing whether or not you really need these items. I don't mean not to enjoy life and relax but keeping tabs on where the money is going is really helpful when making decisions about how you want to spend most of your money-travel, retirement, or eating out? Make small incremental changes when possible.
I hope these money saving and enhancing tips benefit you in your pursuit of a balanced life.
Rebekah Slatkin is a professional organizer dedicated to getting people organized through hands-on decluttering sessions, teleconferencing, coaching, and her website http://www.best-organizing-products-superstore.com Visit http://www.best-organizing-products-superstore.com and subscribe to Organewz, her ezine dedicated to organized living and get organizing tips and downloads- free.