Tips from money professionals to help organise your finances!
Managing your salary, already a daunting task for some, can be even more challenging when your monthly pay packet is divided each time. This practice of paying wages in two separate instalments is quite common among private companies, and can cause employees to get somewhat lost in their purchasing habits, often landing them in debt. Therefore, here we will try to highlight some pitfalls and help readers get their finances in order.
But it is imperative to point out that there is no secret or magic wand when it comes to money management:
The key here is improved organisation. There is no way of shirking responsibility and simply swiping the debit card recklessly.
Here are some sound suggestions to help keep your finances in order:
- First, study your pay slip and, if necessary, seek out a member of the HR team to clarify any doubts or confusion. It is essential to clearly understand your earnings and to establish how much you will receive and when each month.
- List all your expenses and assign due dates for each. Fixed expenses, such as condominium charges, mortgages, cable television, among others, should be paid on the 5th of each month. This way, all your non-negotiable expenses are taken care of early in the cycle.
- Leave all your variable expenses for the 20th, such as mobile phone bills. As the months pass, you will be able to more accurately project your future expenses and hence plan for them better. To make this a reality, though, you have go get organised!
- One possible way of making your money go further is to automatically contribute to an investment fund. This way, the money is already accounted for in advance and is actually making you money at the same time. Or, should you wish, you can invest manually, but this requires you to do this consistently and without delay. The ideal time to add to your investment is at the beginning of the month, that is, with the first instalment of your salary, if you are paid in two separate amounts.
- There is no issue with using a credit card just as long as there is control, which requires organisation. The natural risk is to overlook some items and then find that paying off the full amount is no longer possible. Those lacking in the organisation department are better off leaving the credit card under lock and key and only using their debit card on a day-to-day basis.
- The main rule of thumb is that you divide your expenses between the essential ones (which must correspond to 50% of your salary), those that are superfluous (30%) and those that are investments (20%).
- The fundamental thing is to act with discipline. Saving money each month is important to your future. Make a list of your dreams and goals and come up with a strategy to achieve them all by saving and investing. That way you will stay organised and enjoy a more balanced financial life.
By Bianca Edwards & Carolina Rhuman