1. Only spend money on payday
Out of all the financial tips I’ve come across; this is the most helpful. Most people get into financial trouble because of debt. The easiest way to get into debt is to spend money you don’t have. Limiting your purchases to only the days when you make money will train you to have self control. On top of that, you’ll have less opportunities to spend, which increases the amount of money you keep in your pocket.
2. Always know what you have in the bank
In a world of direct deposit and autopay, it’s easy to forget to check your account balance. I used to have the mentality that if all my bills were getting paid then there was no need to know what’s in my account. I admit that there is a little anxiety that comes with knowing exactly how much money you have TODAY. No one wants to check their account and see that they are far poorer than they thought. The next step will help with that anxiety though.
3. Write down all your expenses
This is key to managing your money, because you can’t budget unless you know how much money you have left after you pay expenses. This also puts things into perspective. You’ll realize that your Netflix subscription, gym membership, cable bill, and fast food diet really add up. You’ll also become aware of things you didn’t even know you were paying for, like that Amazon Prime subscription you never used after your 30 day trial expired. Just make a balance sheet. It should show (in an average month) how much you make, how much you spend and how much is left over. If you don’t know how to make a balance sheet, Google that shit.
4. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it
When payday finally comes and that new money is burning a hole in your pocket, stop and think about what you are about to spend it on. Anything that you absolutely have to have is probably already a part of your monthly expenses. This means that whatever you are about to spend your money on is some shit you don’t really need. Don’t walk into Walmart planning to buy deodorant and get suckered into buying a new flat screen just because they’re on sale. Sales are only beneficial to you if you have to buy the product regardless of price. For example, if the deodorant you specifically came in for was buy one, get one free then that is a sale you should take advantage of. On the other hand, let’s say they have adult diapers on sale as get 10 boxes for the price of 1. That’s a hell of a deal if you have to worry about shitting on yourself every day. I get that you’ll want to buy some weed, go on a date or buy some girl scout cookies every now and then. There is nothing wrong with that. Just have a little common sense.
5. Never choose the most expensive option
So you just got paid, you’re at the store and you know what you want to buy. You’ve decided you need another laptop cause your old one died of AIDS. (Too much Pornhub) You’re at a Best Buy and you have a sales person show you all the different choices you have. The one thing you should not do is immediately pick the laptop with the best EVERYTHING. Unless your job is to hack into the Pentagon while simultaneously downloading torrents as you beat off to twerk videos on YouTube, you don’t need the high end option. Usually, the most expensive option isn’t the best any way. Even when it is, you can normally find the same exact thing cheaper somewhere else. It’s like going to Mickey D’s to get 2 Big Macs when 3 McDoubles with Big Mac sauce gives you more food for less money.