Managing money is something some people seem to tackle with aplomb and some really struggle with. Over the years, I have got into many a financial pickle so I thought I would share some of my lessons on how to avoid money troubles for yourself and your family.
Talk to your children
My parents never really talked to me about money. They protected me when times were tight. I left school unaware of the ramifications of loans such as those available from Cash Lady or mortgages. That left me prey to the student offers and I got into trouble pretty quickly into my university journey. So I talk to my children openly about money. I know my husband finds this uncomfortable but for me, it is better that they understand money and how to manage it when they leave home.
Ask yourself a question
Before making purchases now, I try to ask myself one key question. Will this item bring me pleasure in the longer-term? An awful lot of our spending is to give us a quick fix whether that is a coffee and cake when shopping or that dress that is going to suddenly transform us into a goddess. The cake will add to the size of your hips and the dress cannot work miracles. I am not saying don’t buy them – I am saying work out why you want them and whether they are worth what they cost.
I can give you one big guarantee. Every life has its rainy days. Crises will hit and you can overcome them easier with a good level of savings in the bank. A friend of mine used to put every expenses payment from work straight into savings and it was amazing how much small amounts built up over a year.
Seek help early
We all like to be independent but sometimes seeking help is actually a great sign of strength. When you ask family and friends for help, they may well get a buzz out of helping you perhaps with a short or longer-term loan. Also please realise that if they knew you were really struggling and had not asked for help, they may well see that as hurtful and tantamount to an insult.
If you don’t have family and friends who can help, there are so many charities that offer debt counselling and welfare benefits advice free of charge and on a confidential basis.
It is tempting to despair when times are tight. However, it is a better idea to sit down quietly and work out what baby steps you can take towards improving your finances. Could you do some volunteering to enhance your skills? Could you take on some extra education or training? If you can’t get out of the house easily, is an onlinebusiness a possibility?
What lessons about managing money would you like to share?