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Managing Money Wisely Leads to Lifelong Peace of Mind

Managing Money Wisely Leads to Lifelong Peace of Mind

Many people cite money as the primary source of stress in their lives. According to a recent CBS News article, 64% of adults say that finances are the number one cause of stress in their lives – even more than work, family, or health! Of course, having money problems can make all those other areas worse. Good news: you can take steps to improve your financial situation! Read on to learn how to take care of your money better.

Why You Should Manage Your Money

Many people hate to budget. Even the word “budget” feels restrictive or negative. However, the biggest advantage budgeting gives you is the freedom to place priorities on the things that are important to you. For example, after necessities are paid such as rent and food, the rest of the money can be put into categories that you value, such as lunch with friends, paying down debt, or maybe some new shoes for your child. The power of budgeting allows you to set your priorities with the money you have, and guides you to avoid unpleasant consequences as much as possible.

How to Get Started

Many people don’t budget because they never learned how. It’s an acquired skill, and might take some practice. Luckily, you can learn. Here are some simple tips to help you learn about taking care of your money.

First, it’s essential to spend less than you earn. Sometimes it helps to write down your total monthly income, and then a list of monthly expenses you have. These can include rent, food, gas, debt, charitable donations and subscriptions. If you don’t have enough money to cover your regular monthly expenses, then it’s time to trim up your lifestyle a bit. What can you reasonably remove from your budget? If you can’t make enough to eat, be sure to reach out for help. We have many articles on how to get free food in your local area.

On the other hand, if you find you have a little money left over after all of your monthly expenses, you have what’s called discretionary income. This is the money you can put towards other things. Create a budget by putting a set amount of money in categories that you value. Then, throughout the month, record your spending and compare it to your plan. You might find it needs some adjusting, and that’s okay. Being mindful of how you spend your money is the first challenge of keeping a budget.  

The next step is to look to the future. What long term goals do you have? Would you someday like a car, a home, land, or a degree? What needs will your family have in the future, or do you need to focus on your ability to retire? Make a reasonable list of things you would like to start working towards. You could set up a special savings fund for these items, or council with a financial advisor on how to make these goals more achievable.

Don’t lose hope! Help may be available to you through local and government programs. We have articles detailing how to purchase a home, afford an education, get free food, find affordable medical care, and how to apply for social security, disability, and other programs.

Make Your Money Work for You

The next level of having money is making your money work for you. In other words, put your money in places that make you interest. This will grow your money over time. Speak with your financial advisor and council with your family about putting your money in places that make the most sense for your goals. This could include stocks, options, annuities, life insurance policies, real estate, businesses and more. There is so much knowledge out there on how to grow your money, and many of them are different. Find the one that you feel will work best for you. 

Final Thoughts

You can do this. A budget is the first step to financial peace of mind. If you need extra assistance to get through this rough time, know there is help out there for you. You might consider having a trusted friend or family member look over your budget with you and make a plan for your financial future. If more help is needed when you can’t make ends meet on your income, reach out to local organizations that offer assistance for those in need. Perhaps someday, with the right budget and financial planning, you can be the one offering help to someone else down the road.