Give your personal finances a boost by familiarizing yourself with the following concepts.
The truth is that it takes more than just brains to know how to take care of your earnings.
Even with practice, some concepts of personal finance can be difficult to grasp. And without familiarity, you can possibly lead your life to a quick, painful downward spiral. If that’s the case, what do you do? Do you give up on learning and just play money matters by ear? Or are you going to work hard at becoming a master of your own finances? Right, the latter sounds more like it.
Below are four basic financial concepts. Familiarize yourself with them and you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom.
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Budgeting is more than just listing down your necessary expenses and allocating your monthly salary accordingly. While creating a budget requires a little bit of math skills, it also requires prudent choices to create a list of expenses. Rock-hard determination (and perhaps a good amount of haggling flair) is also essential in order to stick to a budget.
Find a budgeting method that works best for you. Experiment with different budget plans and see which one suits your lifestyle. For starters, you can try two of the most common budgeting methods: the income-savings expenses and the 50-30-20 technique. Once you’ve found a workable model for your budgeting method, you can tweak it and make it work better around your plan.
Creating a savings account is easy. Just go to the bank, fill out the requirements, and you’re all set. However, the habit itself of saving money can be a struggle. While some people can easily put aside a small amount to be deposited in their account, others are having a hard time integrating the practice in their system.
There are two ways to become a regular saver. The easy road—which is basically just passive savings—is merely an automatic transfer of a percentage of your salary account. Ask your bank if they have such feature. Another way is manually subtracting a percentage of your salary for savings. While this may require some effort, it’s so much easier to develop into a habit.
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Paying off debt
There are two ways to borrow money. One is to ask your friends and tell them you’re broke. Another is to borrow from the banks, be it in the form of a loan or a credit card. One thing is for sure: You need to pay off the money you borrowed, including interest if applicable. Sadly, some of us tend to turn our backs on debts. This is a surefire way to put your finances in a wreck and make your relationships with other people turn sour.
If you don’t want to get neck-deep in debt because of horrible debt repayment habits, include your payments in your monthly budget as a necessary expense. If there isn’t enough allowance in your budget, adjust both your necessary and miscellaneous expenses to accommodate more amount for your debt repayment. Remember, you’re not financially free until you have debt, so prioritize debt payment.
If you really want to take control of your personal finances, make your money work for you long term through investments. However, a lot of people are frightened whenever they hear the word “investment.” This is rooted from the common misconception that investing requires a hefty sum of money. As a result, people veer away and carry on working, with no foreseeable financial security in the future.
It’s time to stop dreading the concept of investment. If you want your money to earn more money, you don’t have to start with a huge sum in your hand. In fact, you can start with something small, like looking for the best time-deposit account rates. Once you get the hang of it, go on a full-court press and look for riskier yet better yielding. Examples of this are stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and pension funds. The more you invest, the better your financial future will be. –Dino Mari Testa