Elegance Software, Inc.

Personal finance management tips

Set clear financial goals

  • When running your family budget, do not limit yourself only to relatively minor wishes, such as buying an item of furniture, a computer, a fancy gadget, and so on. In addition to smaller, short-term goals, set bigger, long-term ones too, such as saving up for a vacation, for your kids education, or for a new home.
  • You might even want to start saving up for your old age. Anyway, everything begins with setting goals — otherwise you would be unlikely to achieve anything at all!
  • You must also keep in mind that setting vague goals usually is just a waste of time. Therefore…

Always set concrete goals

  • Your goals must be as specific as possible. For instance, “I want to become rich by the time I grow old” is a vague goal, because it does not specify when exactly you are going to get rich and how much money you are going to have.
  • Here’s a concrete goal: “I want to have $184,000 on my bank account by the time I am 50 years old, and to be getting $19,000 a year as interest on that money.”

Work hard on your financial self-discipline

  • Without such self-discipline, you can be tempted to buy things on credit (that you could not afford otherwise), get into debts, and, at worst, finally go broke.
  • Fight your bad habits and work on your character with the help of mac personal finance software! Remember that smoking, heavy drinking, living a pretty life on money borrowed from your friends and buying unaffordable things on credit may result in the most precious thing — your life — getting wasted!

Keep track of your expenses for two months

  • What’s the best way to do it?
  • Every day before going to bed, write down that day’s expenses. (You can use some personal finance software for that purpose). Take everything into account, because it's important to get your results as accurate as possible.
  • After two months of watching your expenses, analyze your notes and draw conclusions on how much money you’ve been spending monthly and what it was spent on, how much of the expenses was justified and how much was impulsive, which expenses were necessary and, most importantly, which of them could have been avoided.
  • You'll see clearly how much money is spent on things you can do without and which expenses can be easily cut back.
  • Surely, you will find in your list of expenses a few items that can be stricken out without affecting the quality of your life at all!

Control your budget with your significant other

  • If your partner is against controlling expenses, take time to explain that reckless spending may have very bad consequences.
  • If you already have a money problem, make it clear that unless you cut back on unnecessary purchases, it may grow worse.
  • Do your best to convince your partner that to live a stable life you must be frugal with your money.
  • Many couples face money problems that cause relationship problems – but you don’t have to be one of these couples.

Point out the benefits to each family member

  • Propose the idea of a family budget.
  • Make sure each family member understands that everybody would have more money to spend in future if she or he agrees now to accept some limitations and to be more self-disciplined with spending money.
  • Just imagine a special reward that everyone is going to get in a few years.

Do not try to look rich at all costs

  • People of the middle class too often make a terrible mistake emulating the rich by buying expensive cars and clothes, eating in high-end restaurants, and so on. Naturally, they usually can do that only by borrowing money.
  • As a result, their debts tend to grow like a snowball.
  • So please abstain from trying to look rich — better do your best to become rich! Surely, that may take a lot of time, but the results would be worth your efforts!

Let your gifts be inexpensive but have a meaning

  • Most people crave not for things per se but for some “meaning.” For example, a man can give a face cream as a gift to his beloved one, with a note “The most loving touch for the loveliest face.” Please don’t be afraid to be unlike the others, and your efforts will be appreciated!

Ask your friends if they have any discount cards

  • It’s easy to do: Ask your friends if they have discount cards for some stores.
    Write down which friend has which card.
  • Afterwards, when you, say, need to buy a pair of shoes, just call a friend and ask her or him to borrow the card for one day.
    The good thing is that the more purchases are made with a discount card, the higher is the discount, so it’s a win-win situation!

If your income rises by $90, increase your expenses by only $45

  • In other words, your extra expenses should be a half of your extra earnings. Deposit the remaining half into your bank account, or keep it in a safe place.

Find free ways to entertain yourself

  • As a rule, commercial entertainment costs money, sometimes a lot. But there are many ways to have a good time without spending a dollar. Look around, see the blue sky and the shining sun! Throw away all unnecessary thoughts and just enjoy your life!

Learn to cook and become your own chef

  • While a home-made meal can be as delicious as that made by a chef, making it usually costs only a small fraction of a restaurant bill.
  • Besides, learning various cuisines can be so interesting! So why don’t you open a cook book and find a dish that you always wanted to try.

If you are paying mortgage for your house, do it wisely

  • As the market changes, bank rates follow it. If offers with lower mortgage rates become available, try catching the opportunity — who knows, you may be in for reducing your mortgage payments!
  • As you can see, it’s advisable to keep track of mortgage markets.

Always keep your receipts and bills when buying or paying for something

  • Having receipts and bills makes it so much easier to run your home budget every evening, leaving your mind free from the necessity to memorize everything.
  • Besides, if some goods happen to be defective, you may want to have the faulty item replaced or to redeem your money. (And if the lady at the cash register makes a mistake, the receipt might help too.) So don’t throw away those pieces of paper!