The SmartyPig Blog

5 Ways to Manage Your Money

Today’s guest post brought to you by: Ruby Andrew

Having control over your finances is one of the most important traits to possess in life. Starting from a very young age, it is important to inculcate the discipline in children so as grow into individuals well equipped with financial skills. Being unable to properly budget and keep track of your spending can lead to unnecessary debts and bankruptcy. Here’re five ways on how you can better manage your money and be on the road to financial freedom.

1.     Keep track of your expenses

One of the major problems people have is lack of accountability on how they spend. The first step to managing your finances is keeping track of all your expenses for the month. You do this by writing down everything you spend and whether it is a purchase or service, using debit card or cash without leaving anything out. At the end of the month, you will be able to have a list of all the expenses against what is left over unspent.

2.     Create a budget

Once you have followed the above, create a budget based on your spending history and put down on how much you wish to spend on every category at the beginning of the month and how much you have actually spent at the end of the month. If there are fluctuations between these two, look into the cause and try to reduce the gap to meet your budgetary goals. If need be you can adjust the budget according to your needs.

3.     Create a bills calendar

If you are having a hard time staying organized, create bills calendar to help you pay your bills on time. Indicate on the calendar when every bill is due and go through it every week to keep updated and pay them off early in time. When you delay in paying some bills, you are forced to pay a penalty which means digging deeper into your pockets to spend on something that could have been avoided. Whether it is mortgage payments, electricity bills, education loans, or bank loans, make a point of paying them off as soon as you are stable.

4.     Emergency fund

 If you create a budget without emergency funds, when something comes up in the middle of the month you will be forced to spend money that you had not planned for. This becomes a setback in your financial plan, and you may resort to borrowing which you will have to spend the next month paying it off. Set aside a rainy day account in case you need medical care or your car breaking down.

5.     Save money

If you are in college, you don’t have to spend money buying book which you can get online at a very affordable cost. Ask around your friends or check out online where you can get low- priced stuff. You can rent items such as tennis racket, DVDs, magazines and other supplies which you do not need for a long time.

If you are planning to save money, the better option is to opt for SmartyPig. SmartyPig helps you to save money for a bad da, a trip or an emergency.  Apart from saving the money, if you are planning to give gifts to your loved ones then opt for the SmatyPig’s Retailer Gift cards so that you can save the money and enjoy shopping.

 

Ruby Andrew, a guest writer and blogger by profession lives in Bristol, UK. Since for a long time, she has a passion for writing and she could write on any topic. Her areas of interest includes travel, Health, fitness, Automobile, Fashion, technology and wedding. At present, she works as a guest blogger on behalf of ni card.

 

Black Friday Ready

HolidaySpending1110Ready or not, the holiday count down is on. Black Friday’s popularity is growing each year, and economists estimate this year to be no different. So, how can you spend, spend, spend and save, save, save? SmartyPig, that’s how.

When the day approaches, remember to check in on your hard saved SmartyPig holiday savings goal. Those numbers look pretty great, right? You can send that money right back to your bank account for easy spending, or you can transfer it to one of SmartyPig’s Retailer Gift Cards – the Gap, Macy’s and more – where you can earn yourself up to 11% cash back! That’s a nice gift for yourself or a good jump start on next year’s holiday gift goal.

Happy shopping!

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman, SFoss@SmartyPig.com

No Safety Net?

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It’s no secret we feel adamant about emergency funds. Many Americans are simply one minor disaster away from credit card debt or a serious hit to their checking account. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have much reserved, or any at all. So, what do we do when disaster strikes? The experts at MSN Finance tell us how to cope with the type of disasters 60% of us Americans see each year; car trouble, home repairs, medical expenses and job loss.

It’s all notable information. Suggestions like, checking to see if any of your big expenses can be returned (cars on payment) to free up cash, in the event of job loss. Or the option of extra warranties on your vehicle you may be unaware of. While we hope you decided to make saving for these events with SmartyPig a priority, we also understand it takes some time to get there. In the interim, be sure to check in with the experts and cover your bases the best you can.

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman, SFoss@SmartyPig.com

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

I was never good at saving. During college and right after, I was living off money from my parents or my new job (and few bills.) I never had a need for a credit card, when one day, the Gap offered me one. I of course snatched it right up and spent a couple hundred dollars that day. A few months later I went nuts at the mall on holiday gifts. And then a month later on post-holiday sales. Before I knew it I was in debt up to my eyeballs. Then, I lost my job. I was 24, and too prideful to ask my parents for money (finally!) and then…a credit card bill came in the mail. And my already dyer situation turned really bad, really quick. Luckily, I found something to pay the bills, and pay the bills is what I did. It took a long time to get back to zero, but when I did, I vowed to never let myself slip like that again.

From that point forward, I saved as much as I could each month. It wasn’t long after I found SmartyPig and I started saving there. It was money I consciously worked towards saving, but often times forgot about, yet still knew it was there for a job loss, emergency or even just a trip to the Gap.

Thanks SmartyPig! – Sara P.

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

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SmartyPig is helping me save for a bad day. And by a bad day, I mean the day my car breaks down, or the day I have to buy a new washing machine or even just the day I’m feeling really down and *need* to go shopping. Sometimes I call it my emergency fund, but mostly it’s just a place to keep some money, away from my other accounts that can act as a bail out device. Thanks for always being there SmartyPig! – Patrice.

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