7 tips from real financial experts to no longer find yourself in the red at the end of the month (or at the beginning)

Even if you know the envelope method, are you still having trouble managing your budget? Here are some tips from financial experts to follow to no longer find yourself in the red at the end of the month, or even to be able to put some money aside.

When it comes to financial education, we are not all the same. With the same salary, there are those who manage to save without worries, while others have more difficulty identifying the truly necessary expenses and those they can do without.

So, obviously, you can implement a draconian plan of attack to stick to your budget and not spend more than you earn. But tightening the belt too much means running the risk of not being able to maintain the length.

In an article published in the American version of Huff Postfinancial experts, people whose job is actually budget management, share their tips and tricks for saving money and cleaning up your finances without giving up any pleasure.

Don’t give in to the grand prize sirens

To save money, spending less is not always the best solution. This is what explains it Huff Post Andrea Woroch, consumer finance and budget expert. “A low price for a low-quality product is actually a bad deal because you will end up spending more. »

Whether it’s clothing, appliances, furniture or small maintenance items, it’s better to focus on quality than on a low price. Because the very cheap products are also the ones that will probably last the shortest.

To save without compromising quality, used is a safe bet. Leboncoin, Vinted, resource centers, Emmaüs and other flea markets are full of gems just waiting to be adopted at a lower cost.

Read also: The best sites to look for second-hand decorations and furniture

Don’t try to transform your budget all at once

The relationship with money is a bit like with sport. If you force yourself to follow a sports program worthy of an Olympic athlete after not training for five years, you will surely fail.

It’s the same thing with money: a budget that is suddenly too restrictive risks quickly generating frustration and tiredness. “If you try to change all your spending habits overnight, it will be difficult to stick to your plan”, adds Andrea Woroch. The latter instead recommends making some small changes to your spending and saving habits, and then consolidating them once they are anchored in your financial routine.

She adds that it’s also important to make room in your budget for expenses that are important to you. If you absolutely want to have this weekly drink on the terrace with your group of friends, plan it in advance. To prevent it from undermining your budget, you can offset it with other small savings, such as canceling unnecessary subscriptions (the gym one, for example?).

Pay attention to the automatic renewal of your subscriptions

Speaking of your subscriptions, how many of the ones you no longer use are draining your finances simply because you never stopped auto-renewing?

“In our society it is extraordinarily easy to spend money without thinking, explains Anne Lester, author of the book Your best financial life. You can sign up for automatic renewal… you see something cute on Instagram, you go to tap and boom, you bought it. »

To avoid these unnecessary expenses, start by searching your statement for any unnecessary subscriptions that you automatically signed up for and never use. Anne Lester also recommends making a list of things you really want to buy before going into a store or visiting a shopping site. For online shopping she suggests setting aside a specific time once a week to shop and not deviating from it. You can then look at your shopping list/wish list and ask yourself: do I really need this or do I just want it?

Don’t let your money sit in your checking account

Leaving your money in your checking account is not the best idea if you want to build savings. For Anne Lester, this absolutely needs to be remedied by setting up an automatic transfer to your savings account, “so that you don’t have to make a conscious decision to do it”. “If you don’t, you start a conversation with yourself about what you could do with that money, and you often lose because it’s more fun to buy than to save. »

To avoid the risk of finding yourself in the red on your bank account due to this automatic transfer, make a list of all your future current expenses (bills, food, subscriptions, but also regular free time activities), then plan a reasonable transfer for each beginning of the month.

If you can afford it, it might also be a good idea to think about your future by making a monthly transfer to a retirement savings account. There is no need to leave all your savings there: €50 deposited every month will allow you to have a nice nest egg at the end of your professional career.

Track fraudulent charges

These scams can happen to anyone, not just the elderly or naive. Just look at the growth that CPF account or CPF account fraud has had in recent years. “Carte Vitale about to expire”. Sometimes these fraudulent charges are also charged in stores, for example for the purchase of computer equipment.

To spot them, pay attention to the expenses on your statement, and not just the highest ones. “Not all fraudulent expenses are four-figure purchases, says personal finance expert Sara Rathner. Thieves often test your card by making a few purchases of a few euros. »

To prevent these charges from becoming more significant later, review your credit card statements regularly and if you see something you don’t recognize (even a purchase of just a few euros), report it to your bank immediately.

Bank on a second savings account

In addition to your classic savings account (livret A, LEP, LDDS, youth savings account, etc.), which you use to set aside the money you intend to invest in the long term, don’t hesitate to open a second short-term account. and medium-term projects. It can be the purchase of a property, the payment of a higher education or even the creation of a business, but also, why not, the financing of a holiday at the ends of the earth!

Having multiple savings accounts can be a good solution if you want to better manage your savings. To best define which savings account, plan and account best suits your situation, you can make an appointment with your banking advisor.

Stop comparing your financial situation to that of others

This is probably the main rule: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to personal finance, because every situation is unique. “Once you understand that other people’s priorities are not yours, you will be better able to identify the tools that make the most sense for you”says financial expert Kara Stevens.

To best develop your financial plan, it is therefore necessary to take into account your cash flow, your expenses, but also your desires and aspirations. Don’t you plan to own a home one day? So transferring a third of your salary to a PEL makes no sense. Take a moment to ask yourself what works best for you in terms of work-life balance and how much you would need to live in peace.

Finally, while there are financial rules, we must also be aware that they do not apply to everyone and that they are not immutable. “The best thing you can build into your personal financial plan is the flexibility to make changes when necessary.”concludes Sara Rathner.

What if the movie you were going to see tonight was a dump? Each week, Kalindi Ramphul gives you her opinion on which movie to see (or not) on the show The Only Opinion That Matters.

Source: Madmoizelle

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