Even though the economy is supposedly on the mend, many Americans are not exactly reaping the benefits. In fact, too many Americans are still pinching pennies, living paycheck to paycheck, and accruing even more debt — instead of getting out of it. These things are not necessarily the direct results of the Recession, however. Ill-advised spending, saving, and financing definitely have something to do with it, too. If you are currently struggling to make ends meet, here are some things you need to consider while managing your money.
Take Some Accountability
Only 25% of Americans ages 30 to 69 use a financial planner to track their spending and savings — and that number has actually increased by 21% since 1990! One of the simplest accounting tips and tricks — and yet one of the most important — is to be conscious of your spending. Keep track of money in a planner or online. Know how much you are bringing in from work (and any other sources of income), and know roughly how much you’ll have left after paying monthly bills and going grocery shopping.
Treat Your Savings Account Like Any Other Bill
Whether you are perusing individual or small business accounting tips, there is always a consensus about at least one thing: some savings are absolutely necessary to have. Living from paycheck to paycheck with absolutely zero leniency can easily pose problems, and a savings account (and one that you keep up!) is your defense against that. Treat it like any other bill. Pick an amount — $30, $50, $100 or more — and deposit that amount into your savings account every week or every other week, and don’t make any exceptions.
Live A Little
Spending money responsibly is like eating healthy. If you always deprive yourself, you’re vastly more likely to mess it up. Just like it’s perfectly okay to go out to a restaurant, attend a holiday dinner, or eat a cookie from time to time — these measures can actually help people stick to a healthy diet the other 90% of the time — the same is true of spending. If you really want a new book, DVD, a new outfit, whatever, treat yourself once every two weeks or once every month. When you know that you can buy a little something extra sometimes, it helps put an end to impulsive shopping and irresponsible spending.
What is financial accounting? How much does it cost to hire an accountant? When managing your money, you don’t necessarily need to know the answers to these questions. A professional can help you when managing your money and when consolidating debt. However, as long as you spend wisely, keep track of spending, and treat your savings account like a bill, you should be okay.