Personal money management is a skill that's not often learned in school. Making sure you have good money management skills is something of a priority for me and making sure the people I love also know these skills is also important to me. Here are some of my favorite and most valuable money management skills for your personal finances:
1. Do not use credit cards. Yep, this is the big one. The credit industry will ensure they make much more money out of you than they ever provide you in return. And there are so many other better options to get money than getting a loan at about 20%! Get yourself a debit card and make regular deposits into it if you need to use a credit card feature for online shopping or phone purchases etc. These cards are versaitile and work just as well. I even know someone who uses pre-paid credit cards that they buy from the post office instead.
2. Get an emergency fund. Just get one. It's much better than borrowing if something comes up that's unexpected. You know those unexpected things will come up anyway, so be prepared and have some money set aside for it when it happens.
3. Have a long-term plan. Write a budget for each week or month and stick to it. Having a long-term plan can mean that you've just sat down and made sure you've made some savings for the most important things in your life, like a deposit for a house, or your child's education etc. These things do not need to be great big things, but they should be the main things that you're motivated for, and you need to ensure get done. Take this stuff seriously and make a plan. Set some money aside and you'll make sure this is taken care of when the time comes.
4. Put money aside for fun things too! Have fun in your life. You really should have some money for the things that motivate you. If you're working all the time then what's the point! (Without you work doing something really, really fun anyway). If you enjoy the beach, make sure you've got the funds for a beach holiday once every now and then. Even if it's just a crazy weekend away that you spontaneously just get up and leave. It's worth it to enjoy your life so make sure you take the time, and the money to do it. …