If you cannot manage your money you will never be wealthy for long no matter how much you earn or win!
Clearly, it’s not how much you earn but how much you keep that determines your wealth.
In my book, Yes, Money Can Buy You Happiness, I have a whole section on managing your money. One of the systems I have created is the ‘3 R’s of Money Management’ TM
Read or Review
Read your bank, credit card and mortgage statements.
Read the list of regular payments going out of your account and credit cards.
Read loan agreements and terms before you sign them.
Read a simple book on managing your finances or look online for consumer websites.
Whilst this may seem like the blindingly obvious, I can tell you from my experience in Financial Services and banking that most people do not follow the above steps. Brian Tracy once said that reading for an hour a day on a subject will make you an expert within a short period of time and a world renowned authority within three to five years. If you just spend a few minutes reading up on your own financial economy (as opposed to concentrating on the national or global economy), you will become your own financial expert in a very short period of time.
Revise your credit cards and loans and shop around for better deals.
Revise the minimum payment you make each month to clear the debt.
Revise your mortgage loan if you feel you can get a better deal without penalties.
Revise your utility suppliers if this is possible where you live.
Revise your insurance on your life, car and home.
The next step after reviewing where you are is to make the necessary changes to get you where you want to be, whether this is becoming financially free in the next five years or just living comfortable within your budget each month and putting something aside for the future.
Loyalty does not always pay, and can often work in reverse and companies frequently offer better deals to new customers while leaving their existing “loyal” customers on poorer terms.
Shopping around for a better credit card, mortgage deal, utility supplier and insurance is smart and can save you a fortune. And it’s never been easier to do with all the online comparison websites, which can enable to save money almost instantly by switching to lower cost providers at the click of a button in the comfort of your own home.
You don’t always have to switch suppliers to save money. For instance, I have found that a quick call to my internet or mobile phone supplier to inform than that I have found a cheaper deal elsewhere always results in being offered matching terms or a better deal. Why? Because it costs more to win a new customer than it does to retain one by offering a discount, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Finally, always read the terms of your existing suppliers to ensure that you are not tied in to a long contract (that you should have read before you signed it) with exit penalties before switching. If in doubt, always seek independent professional financial advice.
Record Income and Expenditure on a spreadsheet or one of the many App’s.
Keep a record of every penny that comes in and goes out of your household and treat your personal household just like a business or corporation. A business records income and expenditure and prepares monthly, quarterly or annual accounts to check on how they are doing. The directors hold board meetings to review the previous year and plan the next one to five years ahead. They budget, make plans and invest in their future. You should do the same and realise that you are your own corporation running your economy.
Just like a garden, your finances needs nurturing to stay in shape. A small garden might only need an hour a week. A larger one will need a little more and may require some part-time help. A huge garden or est