You’ve probably heard the quote, “Money makes the world go ‘round.” While we encourage you to maintain a healthy attitude about the relative importance of money, it’s also common sense that money can improve the quality of your life, and used wisely, can improve the lives of others. It’s important, therefore, to know how to manage your finances. Here are a few tips to help you on your way!
· Organizing your money can help you to keep track of where your money is going. Try ordering your money into four different piles. One stack will become a spending stack for money that you will use for everyday necessities, such as buying lunch or gas for your car. Another stack will become a savings stack, and will contain money that will be used later on larger purchases, such as a new computer. Put aside some money that will go into an investing stack, and put that money into a bank account. Finally, put some money into a giving stack to use to donate to charity, or for birthday gifts for others.
· Open up both checking AND savings accounts to organize your money. Usually, banks have special savings programs for students who would like to save money for college. Feel free to ask an accountant to help you through this process; it’s their job, after all!
· Set savings goals! How much should you save each month? That depends what you’re saving for and how much you have to spend on other expenses. For example, if you’re saving up for the latest smart phone, you would probably want to save a little extra every month. However, if your cell phone bill is higher than usual, or if you used more gas than you typically do, don’t let your savings cut into your necessary expenditures.
· Cut your expenses; be a smart shopper! Instead of buying new books from a retailer, go check out a used bookstore instead. Try buying daily necessities like shampoo and deodorant from value stores. Avoid buying clothes from the mall or from clothing outlets; try shopping at thrift stores instead. You’d be surprised at all of the great deals you can get when you think outside of the box!
· SAVE FIRST. Money is a little like trust; it’s easy to lose and hard to earn back. Always remember that you can only spend money once, save some money for the future. Saving for college or a new car definitely beats getting a new trinket every week!
Another critical aspect in staying organized is being able to manage your time effectively. This is easier said than done, especially when you’re participating in many different events and extracurricular activities. Oftentimes, not being able to effectively manage your time leads to unnecessary stress. But don’t fret! With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to manage your time effectively and hopefully relieve some stress in your life.
- Before you go to bed, set an agenda for the next day and examine what you have to do. Whether you have school, homework, sports practice, or a chapter meeting, it’s a good idea to run through your day and write down notes, think about what you’ll have to do, and create timelines for completing those tasks.
- For events that are further away, you can keep a calendar on your family’s refrigerator or on the door. Every time a special event comes up, write it down on the calendar. That way, you won’t forget about you have to do further down the road.
- While it is important to work hard, remember to budget some time for rest and relaxation so that you don’t overwork yourself.
- Always think ahead! If you have the opportunity to get some homework done ahead of time, do so. That way, if something unexpected comes up, you’ll be able to deal with it without having to stress about getting your homework done on time.
· There are many options that you can pick from to keep a personal agenda. The most common is the use of a daily planner or notebook. This tool is very effective because it’s portable, doesn’t rely on a battery source, and serves as a tangible reminder of the work you need to get done.
· However, for those of you who prefer putting technology to use as often as possible, there are also several digital options available. Many websites, including Google’s mail service, provide digital calendars. If you have a smart phone, you can even store your plans on a mobile calendar!
While some of these tips might seem like common sense, they will make a huge impact in your ability to manage your time, and subsequently, in your day-to-day life. So the next time you have an opportunity, try using these tips, and be prepared to be amazed at just how big of an impact these small tips will have for you!