Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Baby Steps to Managing Your Finance

Can't wait to receive the next pay cheque as your last one has run out after you settle all your bills and other expenses? And the cycle always repeats?

Well, the alarm has rung! Time to plan and manage your finance properly before you fall into the debt trap! Are you frowning because your debt has hit another peak this month?

Here are several practical baby steps to help you manage your finance in a more organised manner:

1. PLAN
Plan your budget two to three months in advanced and make sure it works around your monthly income. Do not forget to include any new commitments such as any vacations, educations, buying a new house, etc into your plan. Then, adjust your future commitments accordingly. If you are married, communicate your finance management plan with your spouse to gain understanding and cooperation.

2. LIST
Every month, list down everything you will need to pay for until the next pay cheque, e.g. utilities, car instalments, house instalments, petrol, food, groceries, insurance, etc. Estimate how much each of them will cost and deduct them from your monthly income. Ideally, you should get a positive value.

3. REDUCE
If you get a negative value in Step 2, it means you are living beyond your means. In order to reduce your expenses, you need to first eliminate all unnecessary "habitual purchases" such as snacks, coke from vending machines. Then, work on reducing your expenses on utilities. Simple steps like using energy-saving light bulbs, turning off lights and switches when you are not around, turning off the tap water when you are brushing your teeth can actually save you some bucks if done consistently.

4. SAVE
If possible, assign 20 30% of your pay cheques as your savings every month. Make sure these money are non-accessible to you. Keep them in the bank. Use these regular savings to build up an emergency fund. You should also get a good insurance coverage if you don't have one.

5. INVEST
What better way to grow your income if you don't invest your money. Start looking for investment opportunity once your emergency fund has grown sufficiently big to last you 5 6 months without any income.

6. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS
As your priority now is to balance up your income and expenses, certain sacrifices are necessary. Consider travelling by public transport and cutting down on entertainment and if necessary, moving into a smaller house. Shop for raw materials and prepare your own meals instead of dining in restaurants.

7. MAINTAIN
Follow Step 1 6 consistently and you are well on the right track to become an efficient manager of your own finance. Give a pat on your back and keep up the good work!

It is tough at the beginning to organise our messed up expenses but once you have kick-started the process and be committed to it, it will be as easy as snapping your finger tips!

With the necessary measures taken, you are one step closer to become step-free!!

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Article by Jakob Anderson writer at

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