5 Tips to Manage Your Money Better

Kenyan note and shilling

Usually, the biggest complications that keep things disorganized financially arise from not doing a few simple things. When you fail to do some or all of these things, it’s easy for your finances to descend into chaos and start causing serious problems in your life.

So here are five things you can do to start simplifying how you approach managing your money and learn to more easily keep it under control:

1. Track Your Spending
Start writing down every penny you spend every day for 30 days. Once you do that you start getting the feel for what you’re spending on everything, then you can formulate your monthly budget. The thought of preparing one might seem complicated but it saves your precious time and cash in the long run. It also helps you avoid and impulse buying and unnecessary spending since every cent you have is always budgeted for. It may seem a little difficult to manage at first, but it gets much easier the more you do it.

2. Make a Bills Calendar
If you have trouble staying organized with paying bills, make a calendar showing when each bill is due. Review it regularly, preferably once a week and pay the bills due for that week. When you procrastinate on paying your debts, it gives you a false impression that you have enough cash with you whereas the truth is that your bills are accruing and endangering your finances in general.

3. Build an Emergency Fund
When you have money set aside for emergencies, you’re not tempted to take that M-shwari loan. Everybody has the occasional emergency, and if you are already prepared when it comes, that’s one less thing you will have to worry about in a time of crisis, and you won’t have to spend months or years paying it off.

4. Use Cash
This one goes along with doing a monthly budget. Once your budget is done, ensure that you’re spending preferably in cash. This will give you a clear picture of where you are spending your cash. Paying with Mpesa and credit card might give you a false impression that you are spending within your budget while in the real sense you are not. This is especially true when buying airtime. Buying from Mpesa might not seem like you’re spending more than you should, but buying recharge vouchers directly from the shops will give you a real picture of how much you spend on airtime. Using cash ensures that you don’t spend more than you should

5. Sell those items you no longer use/require.
Most of us have too much junk that we don’t need, don’t use, and just takes up space. If you never, or rarely ever use it, then sell it, donate it, or give it to someone that can use it. Those things don’t add value to your life and don’t bring you any joy. All they do is take up space and drag you down. So get rid of the junk and pass it along to someone that can enjoy it, and you can make some money in the process.
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