Money, or a lack thereof, is often the source of much stress and trepidation. There are so many things that you want to do, but they all require the one thing you don’t have in abundance: money. Many of us often find ourselves living from pay cheque to pay cheque. Fans of the hit AMC show, Breaking Bad, know the conundrum that the show’s leading character, Walter White, found himself in. As a humble Chemistry teacher with a disabled son, his funds were very limited. So, when he discovered that he had cancer, desperation struck. Eventually, he became the leading producer of high quality crystal meth. As the story unfolds, Walter becomes obsessed with money and power and eventually meets his demise.
I’m not saying that we should all aspire to enter the illegal drug trade and dominate the world like Walter. Instead, I am suggesting that there is more that you can do so that you can better manage your money and find other legal income generating opportunities. The following tips center on developing shrewd money management skills and reducing your worrisome nature.
Tip #1: Always Pay Yourself First
This is a principle that I learnt almost 12 years ago when I read Robert Kiyosaki’s best selling book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. Regardless of your income and financial obligations, always ensure that the first thing that you do when you get paid is save. Ideally, your savings each month should be about 20% of your net income. This may be difficult for some people, but this percentage should never fall to less than 10%.
A strategy that I use to ensure that I save is to transfer that 20% to a USD account as soon as I get paid. That account is dubbed the “untouchable account”. Other people I know have asked their banks to create a standing order. So, the bank would take the amount stipulated and place it in another account on the client’s behalf. If you are not an extremely disciplined person, creating a standing order may be the best option for you.
Tip #2: Save Those Coins
This is one of the areas that I tend to falter on. Most times when you shop you will get a few coins as change. Instead of using them to make another purchase, place them in a savings jar at home. One of my coworkers has two coin jars: one for $10 coins and the other for $20 (we live in Jamaica). He has disciplined himself to avoid using the money in those jars. In less than 6 months, when he took the jars to the bank, he had saved 200USD (25000JMD). So, this small saving plan made a huge difference.
Tip #3: Ask Yourself the Important Question
Each of us has our weak spot when it comes to spending. There are certain things that we won’t think twice about splurging on. For some women it may be a gorgeous handbag. For some men it may be the latest technological gadget. Whatever your weak spot is, think before you buy. Do you really need that new hand bag when you have 10 more in your closet? Do you really need the new Samsung Galaxy S7 when your S5 is working perfectly well? Always ask if you really need the item before buying it.
Tip #4: Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control
Although not directly related to money management, this is an important point. Instead of beating yourself up about a situation and wallowing in self-pity, take action and find a solution. If there is no solution, leave it be. Things have a funny way of working out in ways we least expect them to.
Tip #5: Start Freelancing
The internet offers a plethora of income generating opportunities. It’s quite intriguing that with just a few clicks of a button, you are able to interact with clients from all over the world in the comfort of your home. There are several freelancing websites available. Before you set up a freelancing account, however, think about the skills you bring to the table. I realized that I have a passion for content writing. So, I offer content writing services through Upwork, Fiverr and my website cemwritingservices.com. I find Fiverr to be the best site in terms of finding work. Do some research and find a freelancing website that fits your skills. Feel free to contact me for free advice if you’re a bit unsure or just need a bit more guidance.
Becoming a shrewd manager of your income is something within your reach. Follow these tips and you would be surprised by the positive direction your life takes.