All my life I’ve hated math, except when it comes to money. I’m one of those people who loves checking all my bank accounts, making budgets, stashing money away, and more importantly – spending it on things I love. After all, what is the point in having any money if you’re just going to deprive yourself? Money = freedom. Money = travel. Money = QUESO. While there’s more to life than money, how you use what you have can empower you or leave you feeling emo. Here are some of my favorite money tips and tricks!
I realize that not all of these will work for everyone, especially people with tons of debt or tons of kids (I don’t know about that life), but hopefully you can take away something that does work for you!
Have a Safety Net - Duh. This is Money 101, but not everyone heeds this advice even if literally everyone says it. It’s so important though! Make sure you’re stashing away something, no matter how small, every single month. You never know when you might need it! I have a separate spreadsheet in my budget called Savings where I put away $100 every month. I pretend like it isn’t there even though it’s really still in my checking account. This way I’ll never overdraw my account and if I have an unexpected expense then it’s not a big deal because the money is already there. It won’t eat away my money for the rest of the month.
Make a Flexible Budget - People tend to cringe at the word “budget”, but it can actually be fun. I’m not overly strict with mine. It’s more of a goal. If I meet it cool, if I don’t it’s also cool. Why? Because of the built-in safety net. I have categories for:
- Automatic transfers – any money that I know will come out of my account every month
- Gas/car stuff
- Self-care/other – probably my fave category! This is where I put my massages, hair appointments, vitamins, chiropractor appointments, etc.
I have it set up to where it shows me my “goal amount” left to spend each month and how much I can actually spend if I need it. Keep in mind, my “actual amount left to spend” doesn’t take any of my savings into account so I could really spend even more if I had to do so. The key is tricking yourself, people.
Pretend Credit is Debit - Again, another tricking yourself move. I know not everyone can do this, but if you can it’s the best. Treat your credit card as a debit and automatically deduct anything you spend from your budget. That way you won’t be surprised when you get your statement; you can just automatically pay it because you know the money is there.