You don't need to be a financial expert to manage your funds. Proper money management is a basic skill that everyone can and should learn.
Financial discipline and accountability are major keys to effective money management. But for most people the words money and discipline don't go together.
If you find that you don't have the willpower to curb your impulses there are practical steps that you can take to guide your spending and saving.
The Money Essentials online course offered by Learnalot is a good place to start. The course covers the major areas of money management. Shaun Swartz, CEO of Learnalot talks about the three pillars of successful money management.
How to Draw up a Budget
The 'B' word can strike fear in even the bravest heart but being able to follow a budget is critical to money management. Often well-meaning people start a budget with good intentions but when temptations come along, they lose sight of their goals.
According to Swartz if you want to set a successful budget you need to "calculate your expenses, determine your earnings, plan savings and debt repayment objectives and re-evaluate every month."
During the course participants will learn how to design, use and follow a personal budget.
How to use Credit Wisely
"Your credit is just like your health. If you will not manage it wisely you will have to deal with some serious issues," says Swartz.
In the last quarter of 2018, the Times Live reported that nearly 25 million people in South Africa are in debt, and 40% of them are behind with their repayments.
Debt can become a serious problem and should not be entered into lightly.
"Only borrow what you can afford, always pay your bill on-time and try and pay more than the minimum," advises Swartz.
How to set Financial Goals
According to Swartz it is good practice to set short and long term financial goals.
"Goals can give you the motivation to achieve while providing you with a strategy on how to get there."
Goals can help you stay focused when temptations come or sacrifices need to be made.
Good financial management doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, skill, knowledge and consistency.
But if you are willing to forego your immediate pleasure you will experience financial freedom and prosperity in the long term.
By Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing