Know what comes in and what goes out
Write down an inventory of how much you have (assets) and how much you owe (liabilities) and update it at least twice a year, say Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng, authors of Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality, $39.54. Having a bird’s eye view of what comes in and what goes out is the first step to better money management.
Make small life adjustments
Our daily spending habits can often accumulate to large amounts without us even knowing. We’re not saying you should give up that morning cappuccino from your favourite cafe, but take advice from Rachel Johnson, author of Mrs Moneypenny’s Financial Advice for Independent Women, $24.61, and be mindful that by saying ‘no’ to a few small things, you can make huge savings. Keep a list of your expenditure for two weeks and then review it to see what you can possibly cut out or cut down on.
Related: 5 Money Hacks You Must Know
Do the 72-hour test
When shopping online, keep items in your “cart” for 72 hours before hitting checkout. This lowers your urge to make impulse buys that you don’t really need or even really like. Explains Carl Richards, author of The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to be Smart About Your Money, $33.12, “The extra time provides a cushion. We’re not saying ‘no’. We’re simply not giving in to our urge for instant gratification.”
Related: How To Reduce Credit Card Bills And Save Money
Prioritise your goals
Work out exactly what you want by keeping a Goals List, advise Ellen and Lisa. Start by thinking short-term – what is something you would like to have happen sooner and which requires some money and planning but won’t drain you financially? This helps to build your planning muscles, so you don’t feel too overwhelmed by trying to save too much all at once.
Save one-time windfalls
Put your tax refunds, inheritances or money gifts right into your savings account upon receiving them, although it is awfully tempting to spend it on a little treat for yourself. This way, you will remember to account for the things that mean the most to you, especially in the long-term, because one-time treats are rarely as important, says Carl.
As seen in the May 2016 issue of The Singapore Women’s Weekly
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