Some people think successful money management is getting to the month end with just enough cash left over for a ride to work or the bank to collect the next payment. This is not a good way to manage your money. What happens to the money when you get is very important so you should aim to manage your income as efficiently as possible, month by month. Try to give your money direction and let it show you where you need to make changes.
1. Make a List.
A to-do list for your money comes in very handy for managing income each month. For most bread winners the constant expenses are utility bills, food, and transport and for a few the list will include periodical expenses such as school fees, clothing, car service or repairs, insurance and taxes.
With a list your money has direction and the periodicals which tend to be forgotten overtime are catered for and will not come as a rude shock.
2. Revise the List
When you make your list and put things down every month, some areas that you deemed a priority may fall along the wayside and some that you neglected may move up the priority list. Maybe, spending so much on a new suit will become less important than making sure the water bill is paid and the house help get their pay on time.
Revisit and revise the list frequently.
3. Make it Yours
We do not all have the same list because the things we consider to be important differ. Maybe paying for household bills, domestic workers, a mortgage or putting away a certain amount each month will not be something you are doing just now or is just not as important as buying gifts, weekend outings, shopping at the mall on Sunday or buying the latest DVD or CDs.
The make-up of the list is all up to you and it will determine where your money goes.
4. Like It
The list is not to deprive you; it is not to prevent you from spending your hard earned cash and it does not mean that you are not making enough money (well, we could all use more). The list is simply there to help you set priorities and pay bills on time. And, it will help you, hopefully, reach the month end with not only a little left over but also with the satisfaction of having spent the money on the right things.
Your list is a simple tool that keeps an eye on your money.
5. Make it a Habit
A page in a notebook, an excel spread sheet or even a downloaded app; just make it a habit to list expenses. Do not be one of those people that will only make a list when you are short of cash or when you are tasked to do so by the members of one committee or the other. Let it be part of your money culture.
Just remember to make a list that is equal to or below your income.