In today’s fluctuating economy it’s smart to be wise with your spending. Recreational shopping may be a thing of the past for quite a while to come. Saving wherever possible, getting the best value, and thinking quality over quantity will go a long way in keeping afloat in rough waters. Planning your spending will leave money available for emergencies and an occasional fun item.
The most important item in money management is to develop a budget. Listing all bills and payments, household expenses, optional spending etc. and comparing them to income is necessary to managing resources. Prices increase, energy costs change and realistically, we all indulge ourselves more often than not. Is there a debt issue? Is the credit card balance correct? How often do you use the credit card and do you pay off the monthly balance in full? Credit cards are best used for convenience and charges and fees are constantly being increased.
Watch Impulse Purchases
Impulse buying is the merchant’s best friend. Plan and research your purchasing so you will get the best product at the best price. If you are prone to impulse buying, avoid the environment where you will be likely to get extravagant and indulge your bad habits.
We all eat and shopping for food is where we can all save. Use of coupons is very popular for name brands. But often the generic or in-store label product is made by a popular manufacturer and marketed by the food market. Quality is high and price is usually lower. Bulk foods are anther way to save and keep quality high. Shopping at off-hours, when the market is less crowded saves money and time. Batching up trips also saves fuel and time and makes more of each available for optional trips and leisure activities.
Recreation is another way to spend wisely. How often do you play golf? Is club membership social or recreational? Can it be written off as a business expense? If not, is a public course more cost effective for occasional rounds of golf? How often do you watch all those channels on your dish or CATV service?
Today Internet TV is offering more options that consumers can select and pay for only the channels they really want. New TV’s are internet-ready and set top boxes are affordable. The ITV world is expanding and is very cost effective. Music downloads and services are more affordable than CD’s and other formats.
Internet vendors offer advantages over box stores and the mall. Product reviews are extremely useful and comparisons with other products help make the best choice, buying options from new, used and refurbished are also available in many vendors’ sites. Also if you are into stock or currency trading you can save big time if you compare forex brokers online.
Perhaps you are fortunate in having more disposable income than the average person, there’s nothing wrong with that. But with today’s financial news and the potential for inflation and world markets changing overnight with disastrous results, planning your expenditures and budgeting are smart moves. Money management is wise management, being able to maintain your standard of living is your personal responsibility.