Thoughts – Day 1: Money Management

Are you the one who doesn’t earn much but yet is able to save lots of money? Or are you the one who never seem to earn enough to cover whatever that you spend? If you belong to the earlier group, well, good for you because no matter how much you earn, you don’t seem to need to worry about having your ends meet.

I, belong to the latter one. But it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It only means I need to spend more effort in controlling and managing of my money. I’d tried and succeeded before, but of course, I ended up going back to my old ways when I started being less aware of it. Still, I KNOW it’s doable and I’m trying it again, and hopefully, being able to maintain it.

So here’s the what needs to be done:

(1) List out ALL the fixed incomes and expenses that you have monthly. You need to have an overview of your finance. It’s a VERY important step. Using an excel (preferably, you can download the one I’m using from here), calculate the total incomes and expenses, and get an idea of how much you have extra/shortage per month. If this is a negative number, I think you are in BIG trouble. It’s really an emergency to see if you can cut down on any of the expenses at all, or find ways to earn more. If it’s a positive number, then the next thing is to plan for the “SAVE” part. No matter how pathetic you can save each month, it doesn’t matter. Start small, and try to increase later on.

(2) Make it a point to note down what you spend daily. It’s difficult and troublesome but that will give you an overview on what you spent on, and in that way, easier for you to control on your spending on the respective aspect.

(3) Have at least 2 bank accounts. One for normal usage, second for the untouchables. Make the second one as difficult to withdraw the money as possible. Preferably with no ATM card. Make sure you save a fixed amount every month first, once you’d gotten your pay, instead of thinking “I will save whatever that I have left at the end of the month”. It, generally doesn’t work that way. I’d tried, and failed BADLY. *LOL*

(4) Don’t use your credit card where possible. It gives you a false sense of the amount of money that you have.

(5) Be frugal, very frugal, extremely frugal! Stop taking the cabs. Stop your shopping, online or not. Stop walking around in shopping centres. Stop meeting up with friends so often. Stop going to restaurants and start going home for dinner.

(6) Only start thinking about investment if you have the extras. Otherwise, just do the above 5 points for now. And if you indeed have extras for investment, invest wisely. I’d never had the chance (sadly) to do investments yet, so I can’t really advise on this point.

Last note: If you have someone trustworthy that can help you to maintain and manage all these, go for it! That’s all I can think of, the simple ways to getting a positive number. Good luck!

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