There’s no doubt that we’re living in a society that promotes consumerism. When my financial advisor told me that less than 20% of the population saves and puts money aside for retirement, I was in shock. For this reason, I want to share with you today a few things that I’ve learned on money management. Here’re my top 3 tips on how to be in control of your money:
1. Create A Monthly Budget
My mother once told me that you can be rich if you know how to save. You can have an excellent job that pays you a lot, but if you don’t save, you could easily end up living paycheque-by-paycheque. For Timon and I, the best way to avoid that is to plan our expenses for the month in advance. When creating a monthly budget, it’s important to prioritize. You’d often hear financial advisors tell you to put aside 20% of your salary into your saving and/or investment accounts, but if you can, put more than 20%. When you earn more money, get into the habit of saving more instead of spending more. I know it’s easy to say, and difficult to do, but with discipline and a monthly budget, you can do it! I sometimes withdraw a certain amount of cash and tell myself that I won’t spend more than that for the rest of the week. It has helped me a lot in controlling my spending.
2. Plan Your Meals
Do you find yourself throwing expired food at the end of each week? I was guilty of that. Planning our meals has helped us save a lot of time and money. The trick? Write down the days when you don’t have to cook, and buy groceries for the days of the week that you have to. The mistake that I made is to constantly cook new dishes even if there are leftovers in the fridge. At the end of the week, I ended up having to throw them all. The thing is, I don’t like eating the same food more than two days in a row, except for certain types of food like kimchi. What I’ve learned is to be creative when cooking, and one easy way to do this is what I like to call, the Korean way: when you mix everything together in a pot like a Bibimbap. I cook a lot of Asian food, so it’s easy to do that. But whatever the types of food you make, I’m sure you can find creative ways to prepare new meals with what you already have.
3. Need vs Want
To be completely honest with you, most of the goods that I’ve acquired in my life are the result of my desire to want something and not because I need it. Yes, I had a dozen of bags, each served a specific purpose, and when there was a sale, I still shopped for bags even if I knew I didn’t need a new one. That was me a couple of years ago when I was still living with my parents and didn’t have to worry about paying a mortgage, electricity bills, etc. With all the money that I had I could buy anything that I wanted. Even now, I purchase things that I don’t necessary need. However, asking myself the question “Do I need it?”, every time I’m tempted to buy something for no good reason, has helped me save a lot of money. And now that Timon is in my life, considering his opinion is of tremendous help (Well, I don’t really have a choice, do I?).
We all have different ways of saving and spending money, but when you’re in a relationship and you want it to work, it’s important that the both of you have similar views on the topic. I hope this has encouraged you to take your finance into your hands. Be in control of your money. Don’t let it consume and dictate your life!
Whoever loves money will never have enough money.
Whoever loves luxury will not be content with abundance.
This also is pointless.
Anna Lou Chen