If saving was one of your resolution, how is that coming along?
Need some help, tips, or ideas?
I grew up in a poor household and that taught me the value of money.
I remember getting one present for Christmas.
My mom couldn't afford any more.
I remember at the age of 10, I was assisting my mom writing cheques to pay for the property tax bill and the water bill.
That showed me where her money is going.
1. Live within your means...
What does that mean? If your income is $1,000 after-taxes then don't spend $1,500. Try to budget yourself within your income.
What is that? It is not a foreign word. How do you do that? Well, first thing is to track all your expenses. You can use an Excel program or one of those apps for you ipod touch/ipad or on your cell phone. Don't forget to enter those $1 Tim Horton's latte...it's still money out of your pocket. Then after a month, categories them as food, rent/utilities, entertainment, household supplies, etc... Then see where you can cut and where you can limit yourself. Once you figure out what is a reasonable budget, then stick to it. Try it for two or three months. Anything leftover is your savings or to use that to pay off those credit card bills/debts.
3. Credit Cards (aka. a straw that sucks up all your money)
Keep your credit card limit low. Not $15K, not $10K. Say, $1,000 or even $500. They say, limit your access to cash/credit = lower your spending habits. I didn't say get 20 credit cards with $500 limit. That is insane and defeats the purpose. One tip (I am taking) is to get two credit cards. Yes, only two. (Deux, zwei, dwa, dois, 二, I think you get the point.) One with a $500 limit that you can keep in your wallet and the larger one you keep at home. I do have a $500 limit on my card. So when I need to purchase a bigger item like a school course or pay for my kid's summer camp I will pay the visa first. Not raising the credit limit. I treat my visa like a pre-paid card.
Well, this is a start. I will try to write another one this week. I have so many ideas. This is not a step by step program but a general idea. If you want more an in-depth help, seek a financial advisor. These are what I have picked up over the years. This may or may not be useful but you never know...