Anyone who manages their own money knows how easy it is to get into debt, carelessness is enough, and a snowball already finds room to form.
While this relationship may seem challenging, especially for those with less experience with this type of control, it is perfectly possible to lead a healthy financial life from some basic care. After all, as GFAI Investimento's financial planner Roberto Agi recalls, "no matter how much you earn, the important thing is to match your standard of living to the size of your income."
Check out 7 tips that can help you have more control over your budget, avoid debt, and save some of what you earn for future investments.
1. Know your drinking habits
Precisely because it seems so obvious, the first step to having an organized financial life may end up being beaten. It is important, therefore, to pay attention to your consumption habits and to understand patterns of what are usually your main and most recurring expenses, which facilitates their planning.
"Good control of your cash flow is the first step to avoiding debt," says the expert. Therefore, the tip is to make a budget with your income and expenses to specify the application of each. The basic categories suggested by Roberto are fixed and lifestyle spending, which include items such as leisure, travel and shopping.
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2. Write down everything you spend
If you don't have any fixed expenses, such as household expenses, the best way to understand your habits is to write down everything you buy, from a candy bar to a new shoe. To make this mission a little easier, there are some smartphone apps that have functions that do this accounting, some of which also graph this information from the categories you create.
It is also worth avoiding walking with a lot of cash and withdrawing only according to your weekly or even daily needs. As the saying goes, "cash in hand is gale?" and such expenses may be more difficult to identify later. For people with good financial self-control, the expense planner is concentrated on the credit card because the bill discriminates them more accurately.
3. Plan your spending
Knowing your habits and understanding “where your money goes” makes it easier to get ahead, make budgets and plans. A first step to this, according to Roberto, might be "at the beginning of each month, check your account and credit card statement for the previous month and sort each of the expenses."
The expert also emphasizes that the priority should always be to pay off debts and account for fixed expenses. From this, it becomes more feasible to set lifestyle goals. To do so, you can project the percentage and how long you need to save in order to make the desired purchase.
It is interesting that this planning is done on paper so that you can internalize this information so that it is easier to resist temptation and stay focused without spending anything that is not really needed at that time.
4. Pay up to date cards
Increasingly popular, credit cards are present in many people's daily lives. If you are part of the large group of fans of this form of payment, the first precaution you should take is to read all the terms of the contract and negotiate with your bank to make sure that everything fits your needs and especially within. of your possibilities. "Pay attention to the dues charged and negotiate with your manager to exempt them," advises the planner. "The bank and the operator are already getting revenue from their operations and can give up this charge," he adds.
Even with these remarks, Roberto still states that credit cards should only be part of the financial life of those willing to use it in a healthy way. "If you're comparing interest rates, forget it, the credit card is not for you," he emphasizes.
With the card in use, it is important to keep track of payments made in this way and to track your bill through apps or on your bank's website. At the end of the month, it is better to pay the card bill before its expiration and in full, avoiding the installment, because the interest charged later usually make the settlement even more expensive.
5. Be careful with loans
Just as interest charged on credit card bills can snowball into your budget, applying for bank loans also comes with back payment commitment and huge interest. If you are working with this alternative, it is important that you already have a payment plan to avoid further inconvenience.
The alternative to financing is to try to save money to buy a good, it helps to create a healthy habit ?, recommends the expert.
6. Book, invest and save
For those who have a fixed monthly income and already know their consumption habits, it is recommended to study a percentage of the money that could be saved without disrupting the payment of fixed expenses. This amount can be saved to a savings account and can be used as an emergency reserve or to cover unforeseen expenses.
If the economy is already part of your financial ways, it is also interesting to look for some kind of investment that might please you and set it as a goal. It may also be valid to prefer to invest in stocks that are in line with your personal interests and will give you some financial return, thereby increasing your income. "To choose the best investment, look for a professional you trust, preferably someone who is not linked to any institution, such as a financial planner," recommends the expert.
According to Roberto, the ideal percentage to be invested is not defined, as it varies according to the lifestyle of each person. Nevertheless, it is still possible to set some standards for managing your finances responsibly and comfortably: Ideally,? 50% of your salary goes to fixed expenses, 30% to lifestyle expenses and 20% to investments ?, he specifies. .
7. Ask yourself questions before you buy
If you really want to save money and do not need to make loans, it is important to pay attention before making the debt. So be careful when choosing what to buy and what to set aside. Reducing expenses is much simpler if you know where you can cut spending. We recommend avoiding spending money on more flexible expenses such as leisure or shopping.
In this sense, as already recommended by the planner, it is worth saving for some time before making very expensive purchases or investments, thus avoiding financing and installments with high interest rates.
In more mundane purchases, which would not require savings of a few months or installment, it is still worth putting your hand in your conscience (or pocket) and asking yourself, "Do I really need this now?", Spend my money on it. Now won't it disturb my budget.
Adopting these habits eases control over finances and helps to avoid debt. This process may seem like a lot of work at first, but staying focused can bring great results to both you and your bank account.
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- Career & Finance