You Can Improve Your Personal Finances by Doing These 3 Things

Your financial decisions and activities right now have an effect on your financial health in the future and these tips are well worth considering if you want to make some improvements:

1. Resist Life (style) Temptations
The one thing that most people will do is spend more money if they have more money to spend. Mainly because of work advancements which result in higher earnings or salaries. And when there is more money coming in; there tends to be a corresponding increase in spending sometimes just to match friends’ and co-workers’ spending habits.
If your peers drive “posh” cars, frequent expensive restaurants or drinking places, do not let yourself be pressured to do the same. Your situation may be good at that particular moment but may also change. And it is easy to overlook the fact that in many cases the people you want to match coin for coin may actually be “artificially wealthy”. Meaning they may be using company or government vehicles, getting a rent allowance or simply be keeping up appearances by paying for things with borrowed money (or money that is meant to run their business)!
Resist these lifestyle temptations even though you are beginning to make more money and try to live within or below your means so that you can grow your wealth.

2. Identify Needs and Reduce Wants
It’s in your best interest to be mindful of the difference between needs and wants so you can make better spending choices.
“Needs” are things you have to have in order to survive: food, shelter, healthcare, transportation and a reasonable amount of clothing.
“Wants” are things you would like to have, but that you don’t need for survival. And this can be challenging to accurately identify for many people as the line gets blurred between the two.
Unless you have an unlimited amount of money, your needs should get top priority in your personal finances. And only after your needs have been met should you allocate any discretionary income toward wants.
And, if you do have money left over each week or each month after paying for the things you really need, you don’t have to spend it all!

3. Spend Wisely
As your professional situation evolves over time, some increases in spending are natural. As this may mean more responsibilities at work therefore you might find that it makes sense to upgrade your wardrobe so that you dress appropriately for a new position.
Or your personal and family situation may change. You get married, have children and need a house with more bedrooms. Also with children in the house and both you your partner working it means that you will need someone to do the work around the house. So, you may have to hire domestic personnel; which will free up time to spend with your work or business and improve the quality of life for your family.
Spending wisely means that there may be times when increasing your spending in certain areas makes sense because a certain amount of lifestyle change is to be expected as your work and family obligations evolve. However, remember to spend only what you can afford!

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About Balekile Gausi

A prolific Zambian writer covering work, money and lifestyle that passed through university and came away with a very good grasp of public administration, finance management, money and banking and international relations. A civil servant that quickly opted for self-employment and training as a Journalist and Writer Balekile has been a freelance feature writer for several decades and has also published fiction in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine. Settled and living in Lusaka after many years of living in several cities in Africa and Europe; Balekile is also an avid bird watcher, is married with 3 adult children and has an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( the local delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list!)

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