If you’re unsure where your hard-earned money goes and you’re always wondering why there’s only a few dollars left in your account at the end of each month, you’re not alone. According to a 2020 Intuit poll of 1,500 people, about 65% had no clue how much money they spent the previous month. Moreover, it was found that Gen Z was the least likely to know how they spent their money, followed by Millennials.
Being preoccupied with work, as well as taking on the pressures and responsibilities of everyday life, are some of the reasons why most young people neglect their finances. The good news is that you can keep track of your spending and take control of your financial future, even if you’re swamped with work. Here is the busy man’s guide to budgeting and managing everyday expenses.
Organize Your Money and Bills
It’s important to organize your money right away each time you get paid. Set aside the right amount of money to pay your utilities and credit cards, and transfer that to your account. Next, consider using bill payment services like Prism, MyCheckFree, or Paytrust to pay your utilities and credit cards, and set up automatic bill payments with your bank.
You can also use this system to pay your mortgage, so if you’re thinking about getting one soon, check to see if any of these bill payment services accept monthly payments for your lender. This should be done when you’re getting access to funding either through a secured or unsecured loan. Doing so ensures that you don’t default on your monthly payments and your asset won’t be repossessed.
Track as You Spend
For everyday spending, consider using only cash to pay for things such as your coffee, lunch, or miscellaneous or discretionary items. Then, keep track of your money as you spend. You can go old school and use a pen and a small notebook to track your daily expenses, but you can also use an expense tracker app like GoodBudget, Mint, or You Need A Budget. This allows you to get a clear picture of how much you’re spending daily, and you’ll remember how you spent your money. Tracking as you spend also helps you make an informed decision about whether to keep a certain expense or cut it from your budget at the end of the week.
Don’t Forget to Save
Saving money is a must, especially during these turbulent times. Saving 20% of your paycheck is a smart move, and ideally, you should aim to save until you have at least enough money to cover six months’ worth of expenses. Consider automating your savings, making sure that the deposits occur on the same day you get paid. This gives you a hassle-free way to save, and you won’t have to remind yourself to put away money every payday.
Managing expenses can be bothersome, especially when you’re preoccupied with life and work. But by keeping track of your spending, you’ll know where your hard-earned money goes, and you’ll have better control over your finances.