When it comes to learning how to manage your money, there are many people who ask “What are the 3 basic steps?” It’s a valid question. There are tons of great ideas out there on how to improve your money management skills. One term that is sometimes used is ‘financial self-help.’ This includes topics like budgeting, investing, and debt reduction. But there’s also one more step that is quite important that most folks don’t consider — creating a budget!
If you want to improve your financial situation and become financially independent, you need to take control of your money. You can learn the basics from books, but nothing beats hands-on training. This is where I come in. I teach people how to manage their money and become financially stable.
1: Set Goals
The first step to better money management is setting goals. You need to know where you want to be, and how much you want to be there. Once you’ve set your goals, it’s important to measure them on a regular basis. This will keep you from getting discouraged when things don’t go as planned. If you have a goal of becoming debt-free, for example, make sure everything that goes into your account gets spent on the things that help toward that end. Keep track of the time spent on each activity so that you can see if it is helping towards your goal or not.
If possible, set up automatic transfers between accounts so that money isn’t sitting in one account because it hasn’t been spent yet!
This process may feel tedious at first, but over time it becomes easier and easier as you become more accustomed to doing it every day.
Setting goals is one of the most important steps to better money management. You need to set goals that you can reach, and you also need to set them in a way that will allow you to hit those goals.
For example, if your goal is to make $10,000 this year, then it’s better if you figure out how much money you need to make in order to make $10,000. The amount of money needed depends on how much time you would spend earning the money and how much time you could spend on other things. Once you know this information, then it’s easy for you to determine how much time it takes for each day or week to earn enough money for the next day or week.
Once your goal is set and the amount of time it takes each day or week is determined, then there will be no excuse for not reaching your goal!
2: Make a Plan
You probably already have a plan for your money — maybe you are saving up for a vacation or paying down your credit cards. But what if you could create a plan that would help you manage your money better?
I’ve talked to hundreds of people who have done just that. Some have created a budget, others have gotten rid of debt, and some have even started investing. What they all had in common was that they had put together a plan to make their money work for them.
I recently read an article about the three basic steps to better money management, and I thought it was so worth sharing. It’s a great reminder for us all to take a step back and think about what we want our lives to look like, and then create a plan that will help us get there.
The Three Basic Steps to Better Money Management (from The Simple Dollar)
1. Make a Plan
2. Identify Your Financial Goals
3. Track Your Progress
3: Follow Your Plan
It’s important to remember that you can’t control the market. You can only control what you do in response to it.
The first step is to develop a plan for how you’re going to invest your money. If you’re not sure what that plan should look like, start by following these steps:
Identify your goals (both short-term and long-term) and figure out what they would cost (in terms of time and effort) if they were accomplished.
Plot out a timeline of the investments needed over the next five years or so. Try to set aside at least 5% of your assets each month for this purpose; whether that’s cash or stocks doesn’t matter as long as it’s a constant amount.
Estimate how much time it will take you to accomplish your goals — this is probably on the order of 10 hours per month. Divide this number into your annual return target to determine how much more than 10 hours per year it will take for you to reach your goal.
The first step is to follow your plan. This means that you have a goal and a plan of how to get there. Your plan should include all of your activities and the steps necessary for you to reach your goal. By following a plan, you will be able to take action and keep track of where you are at any given time.
If you’re not sure where to start with your money management, consider starting with a budget or spending plan. You can start by making small changes in your daily habits and then build on them over time until they become part of how you live every day.
The three steps are the same ones that apply to any money-related problem (and there are lots of them, ranging from paying off debt to budgeting): recognize your shortcomings, identify a better strategy/system, and then put it into practice. And as you might expect, figuring out if a system is right for you doesn’t always rely on numbers alone—it’s both an emotional challenge and a mental one.
When you look at the 3 money categories, you can see all the money you have coming in and going out. If your expenses exceed your revenue, then you either have to adjust your expenses (higher rent, utility bills, and food costs) or increase your income (by getting a better-paying job). If everything is in balance then you are on the right path to good money management.