8 THINGS I DO THAT HELP ME MANAGE MY MONEY
"Chris, how do you budget your money"!?!? I get asked this question all the time! I was recently out to brunch with my best friend and she (and others insisted!) that I talk about how I manage my money. Honestly I’m obsessed with paying bills and I always find a way to make money even if I don't want to. Money is such a heavy topic and it’s personal for everyone. I, like everyone have to budget and save but lets face it, who doesn't like to spend money?!?!? I know I do!
These 8 tips below are my tried and true ways on how I budget my money and how I make it werk!
Tithe - All and any amount of money I get, I tithe 10% to God first and foremost. Tithing is something I grew up on and grew up doing, and I continue to do as an adult. Tithing is a personal choice but I know a lot of people that tithe. For me, tithing makes me feel amazing and beyond blessed.
I Give It Away - I swear by giving. They say the more you give the more you receive and I 100% believe this. I know its difficult to give away money when you feel like you barely have money yourself but I make sure to give it away in any form that I can. I over tip, I let someone keep the change, or sometimes depending on how much cash I have in my pocket I give it to someone on the street in need. I literally give money away and never expect it back in return. That’s the thing about giving; give because you genuinely want to and you want to make someone else's life better. When you give wholeheartedly you will never be without.
Bills, Bills, Bills - I might be the only person in the world that loves to pay bills. A couple of years ago when I was unemployed longer than expected, I developed a bill paying system for myself that I still use till this day. I pay all/majority of my bills the first week of each month. This leaves me the rest of the month to have "free money". I always pay my bills and I never skip a payment. I make it a strict habit to pay my bills on time or before there due date and I also pay over the minimum balance. I only pay the minimum when I am unable to pay more. I try to keep a good standing so when and if ever I do need to pay only the minimum balance, its ok. Also I make sure my bills are paid before I sit at any restaurant table and if I can’t dine out that evening with friends then so be it. I know my bills are paid and its only temporary.
Load Up The Automatic - Everyone knows a savings account is important. Because I love spending money, a few years ago I connected a Capital One Automatic Savings Account to my bank account. I’m not one to manually move money from one account to another on my own (I will spend it, duh) so every payday I have money automatically taken out of my bank account and sent to my savings account. I use this account to just save money in general and my back up for when I need to hold money out of my sight (because again I will spend it). I also use the Digit app for saving money in the background. Once you set up your account, Digit analyzes your spending habits and saves money for you. You can set up “accounts” in Digit and it will begin to drop money in each of your accounts. I have the credit card payment account set up so every month on a date that I chose, Digit will send all the money it has saved for me to my credit card.
I Get Cash Back - I try to take advantage of as many cash back offer’s as I can. I upgraded all my credit cards to cash back offers on purchases and bill pay; I have DOSH connected to my debit card along with taking advantage of Visa Uber cash offers, which is connected via my Uber app. Every time I use my Visa card at a participating vendor, I get cash back which I can use towards paying for Uber rides. You can sign up for this offer right in your Uber app if you haven’t already.
I Put My Money In A Box - I very rarely have physical cash on hand but when I break a large bill I put the smaller bills in a box on my desk as soon as I get home. Whether it be change or bills, I come home put it in a box and let it add up. I don’t stress about having pocket change to do this, so it’s always a surprise. Recently I did this whenever I had change for a year and took this extra money and paid off my credit card.
My $100 Life - I tend to process monetary things in increments of $100. Back when I was unemployed, I noticed that an even $300 would go farther than say $265. Think of it as, if I have $300 and I pay $100 to each of my bills... I’m paying 3 bills at once, versus 2 bills if I have $265. As they say you come up with a lot of things when you are trying to stay afloat and I developed this system during that time. I make sure I keep $100+ for myself. You are going to pay bills for the rest of your life and who wants to constantly feel like all their money goes towards bills?!?!? By allowing myself an additional $100, I’m free to whatever I want, whether it be getting my nails done, brunch with my friends or a new bag.
I’m Thankful - Point blank I am thankful for my money. Whether a small amount or a large amount, I am thankful to just have money. I also always keep in mind that my financial life will NOT be this way forever and I NEVER take more than I need. I’m thankful for $5,000 the same way I am thankful if someone gives me $10.