How do I better manage my money?

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Hello,
I am a millennial with lots of student loan debt and other expenses that continue to pile up. I come from a poor family that did not manage money well. Moreover, what little knowledge my parents did have about finances they neglected to pass down to me because there was an air of shame and fear when it came to finances.

Now I’m feeling the same sense of shame and fear about my own finances as an adult. And I know I’m not being as responsible with my money as I should be. I feel as though I’m slowly sinking. But I don’t spend as recklessly as I once did. My over-spending seems to ebb and flow with the times, much like over-eating. I my have a few months where I do really well, but then I slip back again.

The student loan payments are a huge burden, they cost more than my rent each month. However, I am making enough money to pay both for the loan payments, rent, and other bills. It’s just that it seems to be difficult for me to handle one huge payment of something at one time of the month–the payments seem to always take me by surprise. Either that or I get behind and am in a monetary deficit, struggling to play catch up each paycheck. Meanwhile, bills fall behind. I wish I could just hire an accountant to take care of my bills for me, then give me a bi-weekly cash salary so I don’t over-spend. But I feel such an arrangement would be impractical as it would just be another expense.

Does anyone have any tips they can offer for keeping financially stable? I am especially interested in people that come from financially well-endowed families and were well taught by their parents the methods of financial responsibility. Any help would be a great relief and greatly appreciated.

Category: Tags: asked August 21, 2015

3 Answers

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Budget. knowledge is power in your situation. You should try and find out each month EXACTLY how much money you will need to hang onto to pay bills, debt, rent, etc. being behind on your bills is an uphill battle for sure, but as long as you know how much money you have to spare after minimum payments you can put a portion of you extra money towards catching up every month. Just bank frequently, make it a part of your daily routine, just to remind yourself how much money you have and how much you can spend. The Mint app is particularly good for this if you can get it. The fact that you're making extra money that you can spend irresponsibly is a good sign in and of itself, because it means that you do have money to dig yourself out of whatever hole you are in. That said, your overspending is an impulse that you should do whatever you can to control. Feel free to be harsh with yourself. If you think it is a neurosis, then see a counselor. If you think its just a strong impulse, then find a way to prevent yourself from doing it whether it be fulfilling another impulse or sheer force of will, or you could allow yourself some "fun money" every week or every month, so long as it doesn't overlap with your other necessary payments. once you have caught yourself up on your bills, and this is important, DONT CHANGE A THING. Keep banking daily, and keep saving money. Put it in a savings account. Invest in an IRA or 401k plan if you have access to one. anyway I hope this helps.
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I dont come from a financially stable house old either, but what I can say is tha you hae 4he power to control and manage what you spend if youre motivated enough. For school loans, schools can help you select a payment plan that works for you and that you can afford per month. Its best to talk to the financialc aid office. As for managing your money, its going to take some dedication on your part to do that. Graab yourself a pen and notebook and keep track of what you spend every day. Keep the receipts for whenever you buy anything, from a piece of gum or that coffee you buy every morning before work. The littlethings tend to add up over time. You should also categorize what your expenses are each week and month. Once when that is done, Start cutting off little by little of whatvyou sp e nd in each category. For example, if you buy $50 worth of groceries a week, try going down to $45 a week, then slowly work your way down each week. A good idea to organize your monthly expenses is to get some envelopes and label them as, rent, groceries, electricity and all other bills that have to be paid. Dispense your required payment in each category with either one check or divide them into two checks. The rest thatt you have left over should be monitored carefully and spent wisely. For ruture refer3nces, it is best to take $5 to $10 on the side to save for emergencies each check. These little deposits add up and can be used as life savers if youre late on a payment. Also, get a bucket or apiggy bank and throw your change in there. It can also be a life saver to have that extra bit of money to cash in either for gas or another bill. Im not going to say that managing your money is easy, because its not. But if you work at it over time, it can really benefit you in the long run.
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