Self-check Questions for Financial Sanity

by jiatongma

Apr 03 2023

We strive for stability in most aspects of our lives; a stable job, reliable finances, our own house, a healthy relationship, and the list goes on. A lifestyle rooted in unpredictability and surprises only seems fascinating in the early twenties until reality comes banging on your door.

Money stands out as one of the most decisive factors when it comes to living a life of consistency and ease. Whether you will be able to meet the loan payment, dine out with friends, stock up on groceries, pay the bills, finally make that purchase, and afford the car repairs during the month heavily relies upon your financial situation. Such questions and countless more loom over our heads like storm clouds at the beginning of each month, add excessive inflation to the mix, and financial management becomes a taxing responsibility, pun intended.

You see, the struggle is unavoidable; one must jump through several proverbial hoops to secure their future. The real question here is: does it have to be so demanding? Well, let me just say that the right tips, tricks, and mindset make financial planning a breeze.

If you were searching for effective and easy money-managing hacks, look no further because you have arrived in the right place.

Manage your finances like a pro

When it comes to important matters in life, planning ahead can help you a great deal and save you a whole lot of stress. After all, who would want to undertake a challenge unprepared?

Budgeting – your rescue against financial problems

If you are going to take one lesson with you today, let it be this one because budgeting is one of the cornerstones of financial management. If you allocate fixed percentages of your total income towards different expenditures and stick to them, you will never find yourself in a pinch at the end of every month. The internet is brimming with various budgeting methods for you to try out, but there is one formula that really stands out, and a lot of people swear by it. I am talking about the 50-30-20 rule. So what you do is, after deducting the taxes, you allot 50% of the remaining amount to your needs and must-haves, 30% to wants, and the last 20% to saving and paying off debts. It is uncomplicated and effective, precisely what we all need.

Track your expenses

Social media keeps coming up with this trend, and that must-have every other day, and it is entirely understandable if you find yourself giving in to the pressure now and then. We have all been there. However, you must keep track of your expenses to prevent yourself from making back-to-back online purchases and overspending. You can do it the traditional way by busting out the old journal, or you can download a mobile application; either way, you will be thanking yourself. A compiled record of weekly cash outflow will enable you to be more conscious about spending money and save you a lot of trouble. The knowledge that you can only choose to spend on two out of seven items will help you make more thoughtful decisions.

Look for investing opportunities

One surefire way to increase your income and protect your sanity is to keep the cash rolling. I am certainly not advising that you launder money but to use it to make more money. Instead of letting it dwell, keep your eyes peeled for low-risk opportunities that will generate substantial financial returns and invest. Some examples you may already be familiar with are savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and index funds. You can even use assets to earn the extra buck instead of your money. For instance, if you have a spare room, you can put it up for rent, or if you do not use your bicycle or gardening tools, you can rent those as well. You can go a step further and sell items that are creating unnecessary clutter around the house, like clothes, shoes, decoration pieces, paintings, rugs, electronics, etc.

Set up a side hustle

Nothing says financial stability and mental peace like an alternate and steady income stream; just the thought of it is bringing me joy. On the one hand, the internet may tempt you to splurge on new and flashy products, but on the contrary, it is an incredible platform to run a small business or get a part-time job. If you possess a hobby or a skill like crocheting, knitting, jewelry making, painting, illustrating, or makeup, you can use it to earn cash on the side and have fun doing it. Talk about the ideal win-win situation! If you do not want to take on the task of managing an entire business, you can seek out employers who are looking for the skills you possess. The possibilities are endless.

Save for a rainy day

This one’s a no-brainer. I know money can be stretched thin at times but keep aside a little whenever you get the chance; you never know when you might need a pile of emergency cash to fall back on. As mentioned earlier, the 50-30-20 formula can be pretty helpful when it comes to putting money aside, or you can choose a budgeting method that suits you the best. No matter how you do it, make sure to save every month, even if it means not hitting ‘order now’ on your cart.

Don’t let your finances control you

Look, financial stability does not necessarily mean having immense wealth or possessing luxury items. If you have a roof over your head, three hot meals daily, all your bills and loans are timely paid, and you are not going crazy to make ends meet, your finances are in order. This mindset that one needs a ton of cash to have a good time needs to go because flying out to other countries, lunching at fancy restaurants, and wearing designer labels are not the only sources of happiness. Those aren’t great for the environment either.

It’s the company that matters, not the place

Having a good bunch of friends is no less than a blessing; one can always rely on them to have a good time. Instead of hanging out at outrageously expensive locations, have your friends over for a one-dish party now and then. Together you can decorate the place, enjoy scrumptious food, watch movies, and laugh over silly games. It is the best kind of fun!

Avoid falling for fast fashion

You do not need every latest t-shirt, jacket, pair of jeans, shoes, accessories, or makeup that brands keep putting out at the speed of light. If you aim to be glamorous on a budget, invest in wardrobe staples and occasionally get something new, then mix and match everything to put together new outfits. And never hesitate to repeat a gorgeous look; it saves your time and benefits the earth, so there is absolutely nothing to overthink about. If you desperately need a new outfit for an upcoming event, consider borrowing, renting, or thrifting; this will get the satisfaction of wearing new clothes at a fraction of the price.

The grass is always greener on the other side

It is human nature to yearn for what we lack, and oftentimes this causes us to compare ourselves to people who are wealthier, better looking, and better employed and envy them. But negativity never did anyone any good, and as difficult as it may sound, it is critical to make peace with the fact that there will always be people in better situations than us. Comparing yourself to others is a one-way ticket to self-pity and sadness; therefore, you must train your mind to focus on the positives and block out the negatives for your own sake. Be happy in the present and keep hustling for a brighter future.

Most of us spend our lives chasing one thing or the other, and for most of us, it’s wealth. While no one has ever denied the sweet rewards that hard work reaps, there is no good in working yourself into the ground. The key is finding and maintaining the correct balance between work and play; you owe it to yourself to stop and smell the flowers occasionally. Undoubtedly, stable finances are vital to living a wholesome life, which is why everyone must learn to manage their money early on in life. A good grasp of the subject will enable you to prepare for unforeseen circumstances and enjoy the present simultaneously. Life throws enough hurdles our way; there is no need for us to add financial problems to the mix.

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