Being capable and mature with your finances can make your life better, both now, and in the future. Managing your money well is a significant sign of financial maturity, and being financially mature can help you avoid a lot of problems. If you are looking to build financial maturity, here are four simple ways you can get started today!
Saving money might not sound like as much fun as spending it, but it’s the right thing to do to build financial maturity. There are many important reasons to save money, but having emergency savings is one of the most important. When a crisis hits, if you don’t have any savings to fall back on, you might find yourself in trouble.
It’s also important to think ahead to the kind of future you want. Do you want to own a home one day? Saving for a downpayment is something you should start long before you begin house-hunting. If you’re still young, you might not be thinking about retirement, but the time to begin saving is now. The earlier you begin saving, the better off you will be in the future.
You don’t have to save all of your money and never have fun, but putting away a specific amount each month will help your savings to grow.
If you shop for fun, you’ve probably developed a bad habit that you should work to break immediately. Shopping might seem fun or relaxing while you’re doing it, but it is a pastime that’s bound to bring some financial trouble sooner or later. When you shop to entertain yourself, chances are you are also buying things that you probably don’t really need, or maybe even want in the end. How many times have you purchased a clothing item that eventually just ends up in the back of a closet and eventually donated? Whether you can afford it or not, spending money needlessly is not financially mature. Your time would be better invested into a hobby that helps you grow as a person and allows you to follow a passion.
There is nothing wrong with using credit cards as long as you are smart about how you use them. A financially mature person realizes that if you cannot pay off your bill in full each month, you shouldn’t be using a credit card to make purchases. Using cash, whenever possible, means you won’t owe for those purchases later.
Here are a few tips for credit card use that will build financial maturity:
It’s important to know exactly how much you earn each month as well as how much you are spending in each area of your life. Without a budget, you might be spending more than you earn, and you could be missing key areas to cut back your expenses. There are expenses that are unavoidable such as rent and food, but there are always ways to trim expenses. If your rent is too high, you can consider moving. Learn to plan meals so that you’re not overspending on food that you don’t need. If you look at your monthly expenses and notice you spend more on shoes than on groceries and put nothing into savings, you could benefit from a budget.
There are expenses that are unavoidable or fixes (such as rent and insurance,) but there are always ways to trim expenses if you eveluate carefully. If your rent is too high, onsider moving. Learn to plan meals so that you’re not overspending on food. Could your mobile phone plan use some adjustment? Do you eat out way more than you think you do? These are all items that a budget will help you figure out. Getting started with a budget doesn’t have to be intimidating -- here are a few ideas to get you started!
If you experience stress over money, coming up with a plan to build financial maturity will help reduce the money stress in your life. When you realize you control your money and it doesn’t control you, your financial future will seem brighter.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to make wise financial decisions and live debt free. Speak with a certified counselor for a free debt analysis today.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
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