Let’s talk about something a little different today: money management! One of the most frequently asked questions I get from you guys is how I save up and budget for nice things (like designer duds and trips) while keeping my blogging business running and dealing with real world “inconveniences” like bills — because let’s be honest, in a perfect world, I’d rather spend that $200 on a weekend getaway than another stupid utility bill, amirite? While not exactly the most exciting thing to chat about, personal finances are one of the most important things any young adult needs to get a handle on in today’s world.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that every dollar counts when it comes to reaching your financial goals, and having the right tools to manage your money can make all the difference between a week of ramen dinners and a weekend in the Bahamas… and we’re not talking about good ramen, guys
Today I’m partnering with personal finance app, Mint, to share some of my money management tips; hopefully they’ll help you master your money and take the steps you need towards hitting your financial goals in 2017. Let’s go!
1. Categorize Your Spending
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before: categorize your spending into Needs and Wants, and make sure your “needs” are covered while your “wants” become more occasional treats. I like to take this one step further to really make sure I have my spending priorities straight, and I categorize my spending into 4 categories:
- Unavoidable Expenses e.g. utility bills, core business expenses, student loans
- Essential Expenses e.g. groceries, healthcare
- Necessary Expenses e.g. transportation, ancillary business expenses
- Luxury Expenses e.g. clothes, travel, dining
By categorizing this way, you can really take a look at how you’re spending in each category, and allocate your income accordingly. For example, by prioritizing buying groceries (an essential expense) over dining out (a luxury expense), I can ensure that I’m not going hungry but I’m saving a lot more money, and probably eating a lot healthier too! The examples I gave for each category are how I like to categorize my own expenses, but how you decide to categorize yours is totally up to you as long as you do it smartly! Read more about this categorizing method HERE. If the idea of doing all of this on your own time sounds too exhausting, your Mint account will actually does a lot of the expense categorizing for you, and it’ll alert you when you’re spending over your budgeted amount in any given category — so convenient!
2. Pick Up A Side Hustle
Another great way to get on top of your spending? Get creative, and find new ways to make more money! It’s no secret that I work a full-time job alongside my blog, and these days I can’t even begin to emphasize just how much of a blessing my blogging business has been to my wallet. We all have one thing or the other that we’re really passionate about and love to do in our free time, whether it’s photography, writing, event planning, fundraising — you name it! Finding a way to get paid to do what you love is one of the biggest ways that you can reward yourself, and it’s ultimately one of the best things you can do to make moves towards building the life you’ve always dreamed of while boosting your income to help you move closer to your financial goals. And yes, I totally believe you can find a way to get paid for ANYTHING… one of my friends who’s obsessed with puppies started dog-walking for her neighbors and coworkers on Saturday mornings, and it’s become her favorite part of the week!
3. Automate Your Bill Payments
One of the quickest ways to can hurt your credit score, which in turn will affect your ability to make bigger purchases in the future, is by missing a bill payment. We all get it —life is busy, and sometimes bills are the last thing on our minds… but that doesn’t mean that bills still aren’t there, piling and adding up! For millennials like us who spend a vast majority of our waking hours staring at computer and phone screen, Mint‘s online platform allows you to see all of your personal finances in one place, and it has an awesome bill tracking and payment tool that will send you e-mail reminders and alerts when a payment is due, ensuring that you stay get your payments out right on time and avoid those ridiculous late fees.
I hope these three tips can help you get started on the right track with your money management this year! If I missed out on anything, or if you’ve got any questions or financial tips of your own that you wanna share, leave a comment below to kick off the conversation!
shot by Udee B.
This post was created in collaboration with Mint; all opinions are my own.
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