Budget Yourself & Make Smart Money Moves

calculatorWe can shop without leaving our homes. In fact, we can shop without lifting a finger, thanks to the development of high-functioning devices fit with the purchasing capabilities. In a time where purchasing can be as easy as breathing, let’s practice smart budgeting habits.

It has never been a better time to watch your spending and ensure that money being put to the side for future needs. Monitoring your budget and properly managing your wealth can be the difference between you putting the down payment on your new car or you riding the bus from here to Pasadena.

  1. Quick and Easy Dinners – Create one-pot-wonders that can last you for days. Get staple items, such as beans, onions, carrots, and a meat option to create hearty meals that can last for several days. Don’t know where to begin? Make a crockpot chili or the long-standing crowd-favorite, chicken noodle soup.
  2. Keep Cheap The Staples on Hand – Keep frozen items and dry goods on hand to build meals around them. These options are flexible for any meal.
  3. Track your Spending – Review your budget and see where you can scale back. There are a number of applications you can use to track the money that you spend as well as the money that you save.
  4. Hold the Drinks and Hold Your Liquor – Whenever possible, refrain from buying drinks out. A non-alcoholic drink tacks $3-$5 onto your bill, while alcoholic drinks can add a costly $5-$15, and likely more if you’re having wine or you’re dining at a high-end establishment. Several rounds of drinks can double or triple the bill. Instead, save some cash and go to a BYOB.
  5. Unit Pricing– Compare unit pricing on items in the store, so that you aren’t caught off-guard. Also, make sure to keep track of your spending while walking through the grocery store. Pick a budget and stick to it.
  6. Shop Smart – Stores have products that are soon to out-of-date that are discounted. Buy the items and use them right away. There are also companies, such as Imperfect Produce, which sells “ugly” produce at a bulk rate.

See where you can save financially and be conservative. Remember that items, such as utilities and gasoline, will continue to rise. Keep a calendar of upcoming changes and expenses. Non-monthly expenses (i.e. insurance) should be put on a calendar so that the charges don’t catch you off guard.

Encourage Young People To Find Success Through Savings Goals, Programs

Ajay NagpalSetting up savings goals and enrolling young people in youth literacy programs are just some ways young people can grow up financially aware. Showing children or adolescents how to budget and plan should be compulsory, and it can fundamentally teach young people how to be savvy adults.

Read on to learn what ways young people might curb a desire for instant gratification and avoid impulse buying in the future.

Credit cards:  Without a true understanding of what credit cards are, some young people acquire cards and begin to borrow from lenders early. It’s important that older individuals sit down with young people and discuss the dangers of spending money electronically, especially using a credit card. Credit cards are a great tool but they can give you a helpful boost into drowning debt. The next time our child asks you where money from a credit card comes from, explain that the transaction isn’t magic. Allow your child to ask questions about credit card usage and how to safely borrow using credit cards.

Cash and Coins: Digital spending is on the rise, but children still use physical currency as a tool for counting, learning, and saving. The tangible experience of cash has long been fundamental for education. It’s necessary that young people see that there’s a difference between spending money on something like candy vs. a toy car. The candy is cheaper and offers instant gratification. However, the toy car is more expensive but has ‘wealth’ that maintains for a while.

Grocery List: Allow your child the opportunity to help with the shopping list. If your child gains an early understanding of needs vs. wants, ahead of entering the store, they’ll have a greater sense of responsibility, and see the importance of sticking to an established agenda.

Use Jars, not Piggy Banks:  Jars are so much better for saving because they’re clear; also they can separate money as they collect. Rather than sticking all of one’s money in the same jar, young people can set up three jars for spending, sharing, and savings.  They can give their different money jobs by using different jars. Similarly, they can do the same thing by using different apps.

In addition to the other tips, you may want to incentive savings by encouraging adding to your child’s saving when they save. You can track savings in a public place. If you have any other thoughts about helping young people to save early and often, please share!