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A Beginner’s Guide to Managing Finance

Baskar Sundaram

Some of us are still clueless about managing their finance and often live from paycheck to paycheck. We live in a world where consumption is encouraged regularly through targeted ads and unwanted luxuries and are given the minimum education on finance. This guide is perfect for a clueless beginner who wants to start managing their money.

Four Simple Rules to Follow

Do not spend money on credit if you cannot pay it back within a month. Sure you get credit points and other bonuses but avoid doing this. Treat your credit card like your debit card and you are already one step closer to managing your finance.

Do not live a luxurious life. Often we spend money on things that we think we ought to have and never consider our budget. We convince ourselves that we need it. Forget about the unnecessary luxury and live on the budget you have.

Check your bank balance at least twice a week. Be aware of the money you have and the money you spend every week. Become aware of your income and spending habits.

Start saving. We think that savings will just magically happen in the future and leave that to our future self. Do not do this. Start saving now, even if it’s a little and your future self will appreciate it.

Budgeting 

It is very easy to lose track of how you are spending money. Here is where maintaining a budget becomes important. Start by recording your income after taxes and the write down all our expenditure from the last two months. Be honest with yourself and note down everything. 

A good way to organise or divide your income is the 50/30/20 strategy. 50% of your income goes for fixed expenses like rent, loan etc. 30% is for groceries and shopping. 20% will be the sum you save. Categorise your expenses and see where you are spending more and you can adjust your budget for the future accordingly.

Investing

We are always working for money but we can make money work for us by investing it. Most youngsters think that investing is for older folks but time is money here. Start now and you could easily double your sum in a couple of years. So the next time you want to buy something think twice. The money you are spending here could be doubled in a few years. 

Before you start investing make sure you have an emergency fund set aside and also your debt is paid off. Then talk the right people and start small.

Investing in Career

Networking is important to get ahead in your career and one of the easiest ways to meet people is by volunteering. You can never underestimate the value of connecting with people which will only bring about more opportunities. 

Negotiating for your salary is also important. Do not feel scared or nervous. Be professional and confident. A quick search online will show you how much people are getting paid and based on what you read, you can set your bar. Remain positive and consider the offers put forth.

Start Cooking

With the rise of fast food and take out options, people are eating from outside more and more and this will cost your budget. Next time you go shopping, aim to fill your kitchen with things that you can always use to cook up some meal. Do not buy grocery aiming for one amazing meal. Instead buy staples that can be used for whipping up a quick and healthy meal. Also never go shopping hungry, upset or drunk. All your plans on a healthy diet will melt away instantly.

Be Realistic and Be Open

Even today people are not comfortable discussing money and social media and societal expectations are not much of a help. There is no shame in wanting small things and being realistic. Remember that money will not buy you happiness. Be open about money matters with your friends or partner and you will immediately notice improvements. 

Money is important but you should not obsess about it and build your life around money. Learn to manage your income and ensure that your financial situation supports your dream. Last tip: Build a home that makes you feel happy and good. Learn simple and easy skills like changing a bulb or hanging a picture. Home improvement skills will also save money. 

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