Personal finance is one of the hardest things that any adult has to learn, and too often you are left to learn the lessons of household budgeting on your own. Most of the time this means that you fall behind on bills or wind up having money problems at the end of the month or the end of the pay period because you never anticipated some of the issues that you had to deal with. When you first strike out on your own there are several things that you can do to make your finances a little less messy and these things will help you build a path to long term financial success.
Create A Rainy Day Fund
Most people can manage their finances for a month or they know exactly how much money they can spend and still cover all of their expenses for a given period; however, it is the unexpected expenses that often cause serious issues. Sometimes a car tire will blow out, or a child will get sick, or you get sick and these surprise expenses are difficult to plan for. The best way around this is to save a little bit of money every month in some kind of rainy day fund. You do not have to save a lot of money, but you should put aside a little at a time. A great way to do this is to save all of the spare change that you get and put it inside a container that is hard to get the money out of. Over the course of weeks or months you will be surprised at how much money that you can save, and then you have the funds you need when you need them. Remember to save the rainy day fund for emergency expenses, and do not blow it for something silly like a pizza.
Pay Bills As They Arrive
One of the other issues that people have when they start living on their own is paying bills on time each month. Every time that you are late with a payment the company hits you with a payment penalty, and you wind up wasting money. If you have taken the time to save money, and you have been diligent about careful spending, then you should be able to pay your bills as soon as they come in. Staying on top of the payments means that you have fewer things to worry about, and you have already committed funds to the payment, so you are not tempted to spend that money on other things. The bill is not going to go away and the longer you wait to pay it the more likely it is that something else will leech away the funds that need to go to that bill.
Keep A Schedule
For most people their bills and their paychecks do not always match up at the same time, and it can be confusing to get everything paid when it needs to be done. It can be hard to remember that the extra money left over at the end of a paycheck needs to be saved to help cover part of a bill that comes during the next pay period. It can also be hard to remember to schedule the monthly or yearly expenses that you might have, like licenses or registration fees and those expenses can cause you to fall behind on your other bills. If you keep a calendar and schedule all of the bills or payments that you need to make, you can have a visual reminder of all of your financial commitments. On the schedule you need to write down when you get paid, when bills arrive and when they are due. This reminder will help you to manage your funds so that you have enough money from each paycheck to cover all of your regular expenses.
Personal finance is all about organization and making sure that you know when you get paid and when your bills are due. The best things that you can do are to show self-restraint in your spending and be diligent about paying bills on time. When you put a little money aside for emergencies and you stay on top of your responsibilities, you can make sure that your financial future is secure.
I am Kelly Daniels and three years ago I made the commitment to pursue financial freedom. My utilities were always several days late, and I was paying hundreds of dollars a year in fees until I got a loan from Loan Ranger Cash. With the loan I finally broke the cycle and I have not paid late fees ever since.