1. Make a Budget
Just because you have a budget, doesn’t mean that you have to live like you’re on a budget. One of the easiest ways that you can budget is to add up all the money that you have coming in. From there, subtract the money that you need to put out to pay your bills, save and account for expenses that you may come across.
You can then divide this amount into easier to manage amounts. For example, if you are paid a salary but it is divided into twice-per-month checks, you can break down what you will do with the money that comes from each of the checks. Just having a plan for that money can make it easier for you to manage it.
2. Allow for Spending Sprees
If you cut off all spending and “fun” money, the chances of splurging on something that you don’t really need are going to increase. Make sure that you budget some of your money just to use for fun. You can use this for anything from going to the movies, going out or even treating yourself to something extravagant. Doing this will allow you to feel like you have financial freedom without going outside of your budget.
3. “Buy It Twice” Rule
If you can’t afford to buy a big purchase twice, you can’t really afford it. This is a good rule to follow for big purchases like a new (non-work related) computer or something large that you want but don’t need. Keep saving up and then buy it when you know that you have enough money to buy it. Doing this will make you feel like you didn’t really lose any money from buying it.
There are exceptions to this rule for things that you need. In general, it only applies to “wants” and non-necessities.
4. Practice Self Control
Self-control can be one of the hardest things especially for young professionals who are blessed with a much better paying job than what they have ever had before. This is why it is important to practice self-control. When you take the time and think about self-control, you can apply it to every aspect of your life. Do it with small steps first, like avoiding Starbucks one day per week on your way to work. The more that you practice it, the easier it is to have in big situations like not buying yourself the shiny new car that you think you deserve.
5. Start a New Trend
If you are used to going out for drinks after work with everyone at the office, consider starting a new trend. Instead of going to an expensive lounge, have them over to your house. The drinks are just as good and you’ll pay a fraction of the cost. Plus, no loud DJ to contend with.
About the Author
Ryan Bridges is a contributing writer and media specialist for the CreditSoup. He regularly produces content for a variety of business and finance blogs, based around the transitional challenges which comes with managing money and financing.