10 financial lessons i wish i had learned and practised earlier

I saw this article and i just had to share it. I realise that there are many people who could use a reminder or a fresh lesson..
I have now moved out of home but after some bad mistakes i had to start from square one.

1. Save as much money as you can.

It helps to have a standing order at the bank, so that before you even touch the money, it has gone to another savings account that you purposely forget you have, until sh*t hits the proverbial fan.
Saving is hard, period.
This is true for everybody, but especially for people who are 100% on their own, and must deal with significant expenses—rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries and…..
However, when and if it is possible, setting money aside—however small and insignificant the amount seems—can and will be well-worth it in the long run. It is good to both contribute money for an “emergency fund,” as well as towards a goal, like a vacation, new furniture, or whatever else will keep you motivated.

2. Do not touch your savings.

Learning to set aside money in a savings account versus not touching your savings are two separate lessons. Seriously.I was very good with this until i got into a serious relationship and i dipped into it until it was depleted. I am slowly getting back into the habit. The trick is to put it into the account and forgetting about it.

It is not a way to help you live outside your means when you just absolutely must buy that pair of shoes or bag..

The only exception to this is if you are saving up for towards a goal and have reached it—like a plane ticket for vacation or buying a new car.

3. Set up a reasonable monthly personal budget.

And try to stick to it. It will be hard but try as much as you  can to stick to it. It will require you denying yourself of some pleasures but i think that you will be happier and slimmer for it. You will be so proud of yourself at the end of every month.

4. Be careful with credit.

We have all heard the warning about credit cards. And still, some people ignore these warnings altogether. Credit is something that stays with you for years, even after you have paid off all your debts. You don’t want a few mistakes in your twenties to be the reason you can’t get a home, business, or car loan later in life.

5. Pay your bills on time.

I used to think that being a few days late “no big deal” But the penalties were eating into my monthly budget. With use of technology and standing orders you can track your bills.

6. Don’t let other people make you feel guilty about how you spend your money.

For a time, I would feel really guilty when i couldn’t hang out with my friends or when i wanted to buy something that my friend didn’t think was a good buy or was too expensive. I had to be honest and realise that they were saying that based on their pocket and not mine. We have different goals and we are working towards them in different and deeply personal ways. Now i just say, “I can do this and i want to. I don’t need your approval.”

7. Track your spending.

There are many apps that can help you track your spending and saving. They allow you to check and change your spending habits.

8. Stay on top of your taxes.

Given the way KRA has done a big ad campaign and digitalised paying taxes, it should be easier now than it ever was. My office took care of it for me, so i am glad i didn’t have to deal with that mess.

9. Be generous when you can afford to be.

I do not donate in the traditional sense. I am, however, generous with my time. I also try to give to projects or people that i think are worth supporting. This is my small way of “paying it forward” in acknowledgment of the many blessings I have.

10. Treat yo’ self!

Decide to reach X amount of money. When you have reached it, you can take yourself out to that restaurant or to that hotel for the weekend. To keep me motivated, i treat myself/splurge once in a while. This both small indulgences—like buying a 500bob slice of favourite cake—to big splurges like taking a cross-country road trip with a girlfriend.

I mean, if we earn money to live…what’s a few sacrifices to live well?


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