I have been known to say that I am not a very good student when it comes to finances. I have a tendency to lose track of my money and get caught in the same debt trap that everyone else seems to be caught in.
The problem is that by the time things start to get real, you have spent too much, your wallet is stuffed, it is too late to take charge of your finances, and you may be too ashamed to ask for help.
So, what can you do about it? If you really want to get your finances in order, the first thing you really want to do is to make some important changes to your spending habits. That way you won’t become the guy who spends all his money on the latest and greatest new gadget and then can’t find the time to do his chores.
This is the thing I want people to hear most about when they read my articles: I am not a financial expert. I am an avid reader of financial blogs and I do my best to inform people of the things that I know about in general. I know that it is possible to get by without all the latest gadgets and other such stuff, and that it is possible to do what I do without spending all my money on the latest fancy cars. But it is not easy.
I spend a lot of time on my blogs and on social media, but I am not a financial expert. I don’t know the exact details of my finances, like how much I spent on a fancy car, or how much I spend on my internet subscriptions. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t know how to use money wisely. I have a couple of books on how to budget and I have a few articles on frugality.
So how do you do it? Well, if you want to reduce spending, you need to know what you have, what you intend to spend on, and how much you have to spend to get your desired outcome. For example, I have a long list of books, DVDs, and music on my bookshelf that I intend to read every year, so I know what I will be spending this year, plus I have a lot of movies that I would like to see.
In finance people generally refer to “budgeting” as the process of figuring out how much you have to buy. It’s also when you start a shopping trip. As such, you need to know how much you have and what you want to spend. If you are already thinking of buying a car, you might also know the length of the lease. So if you have a car payment, you know how long you have to pay.
As a student, I always have to keep the budget in mind because I have so many plans that are going to change. For example, if I were going to major in film, I would have to figure out how much film I need to buy and what I want to watch. I would also have to figure out how I am going to pay it all off.
For anyone who is in debt, it is important to pay it off as soon as you can. If you live in a lower middle class household with a significant monthly mortgage payment, it is important to pay off as soon as you can. If you live in a wealthier household, and you know how much you are paying, this can be easier.
But it is important to realize that even if you are debt-free, this doesn’t mean you are actually free from debt. It is only free until you are able to pay it off.