Top 10 Tips To Help You Control Your Money

Wise King Solomon once said:

"Wisdom is a protection, just as money is a protection. But the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner".(Eccl 7:12).

So although wisdom (the quality of correctly applying experience & knowledge) is the prime thing, Solomon also makes it clear that money also has an important part to play in most peoples lives. Why? Because it pays for food, clothing, and shelter. Money serves as a protection against the hardships associated with poverty. Indeed, in a material way, money can buy practically anything. It “meets a response in all things,” says Ecclesiastes 10:19.

However, millions around the world are currently facing the greatest financial challenges they have probably ever experienced in their lifetime.

Commenting on the financial impact of the covid pandemic on personal finances, Forbes Magazine recently made this comment:

"The impact of the Coronavirus on people's finances may vary, depending on who you speak with. With more than 200,000 deaths (in the U.S. alone) and tens of millions of Americans out of work, many are feeling the pain of the mismanaged response to this deadly virus.

A recent Northwestern Mutual 2020 Planning & Progress Study reveals that 84% of U.S. adults, aged 18+, expect the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn to have a severe impact on their ability to achieve long-term financial security. Six in 10 (59%) believed that impact would be moderate or high. Take a moment and think about how the coronavirus has impacted your finances so far ... and what effect it will have on your overall financial future."(1)

If there has ever been a time to get a firm grip on your personal finances ... its now!

Here are 10 Top Tips that finance professionals recommend that we should all implement to help us manage and control our personal finances carefully and make every penny count:

  1. Learn Self Control

Self-control is listed in the Bible as one of the "Fruits of the Spirit" (Galatians 5: 22-23).

The sooner you learn the fine art of delaying gratification, the sooner you'll find it easier to keep your finances in order. Although you can effortlessly buy an item on credit the minute you want it, it's better to wait until you've actually saved up the money for the purchase. Do you really want to pay interest on a pair of jeans or a box of cereal?

If you make a habit of putting all your purchases on credit cards, regardless of whether you can pay your bill in full at the end of the month, you might still be paying for those items in 10 years time! If you want to keep your credit cards for the convenience factor or the reward points they offer, make sure to always pay your balance in full when the bill arrives, and don't carry more cards than you can keep track of. This financial tip is crucial for creating a healthy credit history.

2. Learn How to Control Your Financial Future (Knowledge)

If you don't learn to manage your own money, other people will find ways to (mis)manage it for you. Some of these people may be ill-intentioned, like unscrupulous commission based financial planners. Others may be well-meaning, but may not know what they're doing ... like Grandma Betty who really wants you to own your own house, even though you can only afford one by taking on a treacherous adjustable-rate mortgage.

Instead of relying on others for advice, take charge and read a few basic books and go online to learn about effective management of personal finance. Once you're armed with quality financial knowledge, don't let anyone catch you off guard ... even if it means saying "no" occasionally to well-meaning friends who want you to go out with them every weekend and eat high-priced, extravagant meals in fancy restaurants!

3. Know Where Your Money Goes (Budgeting)

Once you've gone through a few personal finance books, you'll realize how important it is to make sure your expenses aren't exceeding your income. The best way to do this is by budgeting.

Once you see how the cost of your morning Java coffee adds up over the course of a month, you'll soon realize that making small, manageable changes in your everyday expenses can have just as big an impact on your financial situation as getting a raise or taking on additional work.

In addition, keeping your recurring monthly expenses as low as possible will also save you big bucks over time. Understanding how money works is the first step toward making your money work for you.

4. Start an Emergency Fund (Saving)

One of personal finance's oft-repeated mantras is "pay yourself first." No matter how much you owe in loans or credit card debt, and no matter how low your salary or pension may seem, it's wise to find some amount of money in your budget to stash away in an emergency fund every month.

Having money in savings to use for emergencies can really keep you out of trouble financially and help you sleep better at night. Also, if you get into the habit of saving money and treating it as a non-negotiable monthly "expense," pretty soon you'll have more than just emergency money saved up ... you may have enough for a nice vacation when the pandemic is over!

5. Get a Grip on Taxes

It's important to understand how income taxes work. Fortunately, there are plenty of online calculators that have taken the dirty work out of determining your own payroll taxes, such as PaycheckCity .com

These calculators will show you your gross pay, how much goes to taxes, and how much you'll be left with, which is also known as net or take-home pay.

6. Guard Your Health

If meeting monthly health insurance premiums seems impossible, what will you do if you have to go to the emergency room, where a single visit for a minor injury like a broken bone can cost thousands of dollars? If you're uninsured, don't wait another day to apply for health insurance; it's easier than you think to wind up in a car accident or trip down the stairs.

You can save money by getting quotes from different insurance providers to find the lowest rates. Also, by taking daily steps now to keep yourself healthy—like eating fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, not smoking, not consuming alcohol in excess, and driving carefully ... you could benefit later when your not having to pay exorbitant medical bills.

7. Protect Your Wealth (Insurance)

If you want to make sure that all of your hard-earned money doesn't vanish, you'll need to take steps to protect it. If you rent, get renters insurance to protect the contents of your home from events like burglary or fire.

Disability income insurance protects one of your greatest assets ... the ability to earn an income, by providing you with a steady income if you ever become unable to work for an extended period of time due to illness or injury.

If you want help managing your money, find a fee-only financial planner to provide unbiased advice that's in your best interest, rather than a commission-based financial advisor, who earns money when you sign up with the investments their company backs.

You'll also want to protect your money from taxes, which is easy to do with a retirement account, and inflation, which you can do by making sure that all of your money is earning interest through vehicles like high-interest savings accounts, money market funds, Certificates of Deposit, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. (Some specialist advice may be needed here).

8. Compare your options (Shop Around)

So many of us are guilty of settling for more costly products and ventures, simply because we aren’t aware of all of the options available to us.

Whatever goods or service you’re after ... and this could be anything from car insurance to a holiday – make sure you dedicate some time to researching your various options.

Comparison sites are a great place to start, as they help you to compare many of the various deals available and enable you to decide which option best suits your financial needs.

You’ll be amazed at how much you could actually save, simply by taking ten minutes to research your options as they help you to weigh up all the various deals available in the market. If nothing else they are a good tool to help you compare a lot of deals in one place.

9. Never be afraid to ask for help

If you ever find yourself struggling with your finances ... ask for help. In fact, research shows 41% of Americans feel their mental health is deteriorating because of debt worries.

If you find yourself in this position, don’t be afraid to reach out to an elder, a trusted friend or family member who may be able help you lift a huge weight off your shoulders.

If things are particularly serious, you may need to consider reaching out to a dedicated debt charity that you can turn to for support, assistance and encouragement.

Visit the National Foundation for Credit Counselling (NFCC) website to find a NFCC member agency licensed in your state. There are local, regional, and national agencies that offer face-to-face, telephone, and online counselling.

One of the best ways to regain control of your finances is by opening up about any worries you might have. You can then work together, to get the help you need and get back in the financial driving seat.

10. Take Full Advantage of Government Grants

Finally, not to be overlooked are the millions of dollars annually made available through government grants ... without any requirement to repay ... to the thousands of Americans who qualify and are entitled to them.

You’ve heard the phrase “there’s no such thing as a free breakfast.” But sometimes, there is! The United States federal government frequently wants to incentivize Americans by offering grants with specific goals that fix existing problems that face the government.

While the process of applying for grants may be cumbersome or tedious, there is plenty of money out there that the American federal government is trying to spend. So take your time, prepare careful applications, and get a government grant that might change your life.

A useful service in this regard is provided by Federal Funding Programs .org

Here is their link that you might find helpful: CLICK HERE

The Bottom Line

Remember, you don't need any fancy degrees or special background to become an expert at managing your personal finances.

If you use these Top 10 Tips To Help You Control Your Money, you can be as prosperous as someone with a hard-won MBA in finance.