Money isn’t everything, we know that. Money can’t buy certain things. (like peace of mind per se), we know that. Butt, money can also buy a lot of life’s essentials (like fries 😋). So, the takeaway here is that money is essential. If it wasn’t, everybody wouldn’t be so preoccupied with making more of it.
As Millennials, we may be thinking about a million ways to turn out passion projects into side hustles into multiple streams of income. Tell me I’m not the only one who thought about ways to mass produce the brown sugar lip scrub I made (hit me up if you want the hook up lol). I am constantly thinking of ways to make more money. What can I sell? What would people want to buy? What can I use my skills to do? Tell me it’s just not me.
There’s something in the water, or perhaps something in the air that is telling us that we need to be thinking about making money at every second. The famous goal is finding a way to make money in your sleep (and honestly that’s what I want). We spend a lot of time thinking about money, and how we can make more money…but the answer could be closer than we think.
COULD MANAGING YOUR MONEY BETTER BE THE ANSWER TO ALL (WELL, MOST) OF YOUR PROBLEMS?
Your thoughts about money are a direct result of your socialization and your own experiences. I was a big saver for a long time because my parents instilled the value of saving money. Man I was ballin’ on the playground. Buying all sorts of sweets with all the money I saved at the end of the week. There were a few money lessons too. My mother started giving me my lunch money for the week all at once – at the beginning of the week – when I started going to high school. That was a learning curve. The high school cafeteria had way more options than my prep. school (basically, elementary school) canteen, so I went HARD for lunch everyday, and then by Wednesday I only had enough money for a patty (basically an empanada). I knew I couldn’t go back to ask my parent’s for more lunch money, so I made hot dogs (and had luck warm hot dogs) for lunch for the remainder of the week. I never ran out of lunch money again.
Now, even though I grew up as a big saver what life did not prepare me for was adult responsibilities. It costs so much to just live. I am not trying to have yacht parties and drink Hennessy (or whatever these young kids are drinking these days), I am just trying to have a little vacation here and there, pay these bills, and maybe treat myself to some ice cream now and then. Life came at me fast when I moved out of my parents’ house. There were definitely a few times that my bank account had $0.01in it.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR MONEY WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH OF IT?
It is a tough ask… to save money you don’t have. But, maybe we need to change our perception of “managing money”. It’s not about saving or depriving yourself of things per se. It is about alternatives. I used to buy kitchen sponges at the supermarket, then one day I decided to grab some from the dollar store instead. You know what? The quality was the same, but the cost was 60% less. SIXTY PERCENT. I used to go out drinking with my friends every weekend, now we hang out at someone’s house, maybe bring some food and what we want to drink. So much CHEAPER !!
What are some alternatives you could make, so that managing your money can make you more money? It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic. It’s difficult to manage your personal finances, nobody really teaches us how to do this. So, we’re just either learning on the fly or winging it. Here are a few ways to wing it a bit better.
In this podcast episode, Psychotherapist,Annie Schuessler, spoke about how we can heal those money wounds.
THREE WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY
None of this is original or ground-breaking. You already know these things, but sometimes reading something in a different way, or reading it more than once will allow it to resonate with us more. You’re also never really an expert at anything, so there’s always something more to learn especially when it comes to managing your money.
Budget, budget, budget
I personally hate this word. Everything about a budget feels so overwhelming but this is the crux of money management. When we think of a budget we think about bills automatically. So, let’s start with the fun stuff first. Look at your entertainment, food, and streaming service costs. Are these costs sustainable? If you removed one or teo items from this list, would it drastically impact your life? For example if you have two movie streaming services, do you need both? Maybe try a month without one and see how you feel.
When we start budgeting for bills first (which we’ve been doing for a long time), it just feels like we’re fighting a losing battle. Start with the fun, then work your way down to the bills (because we have to be grownups at some point). As you’re trying this budgeting hack, please keep the amount of money you make (after taxes, and the amount you want to save at the top of your mind. If you have gotten to your bills and realize you’re over budget, see where you can skim some things. Light, water, and other utilities are non-negotiable, but challenge yourself each month to an alternative. [Again, seeking alternatives might be difficult so start as small as you need to or check out some of the other options below.]
Overall, budgeting might sound like a lot but it’s pretty simple though, all you need to do is work out how much money you have coming in each month, and then figure out how much money is going out. You do need to ensure that you have accounted for all of your bills though, otherwise you could find yourself in a bad position at some point in the near future.
Speak To A Professional
Another option might be speaking to a professional. I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t make enough money to go to an advisor”. But, it doesn’t cost anything (initially) to chat with an advisor about your options. It might be a good idea to hear from more than one advisor to get a better idea of what might be possible for your particular situation. They will be able to give you tips on how you can manage your money better, and where you might be able to save and even invest. While you are seeking their professional opinion, it is also imperative that you feel comfortable, confident and at ease with the possible solutions. Sometimes I get a little “weird” when it comes to financial advisors because their job is pretty much studying how to make money and mine is pretty much spending it 🤦🏾♀️. Never be afraid of asking a million clarifying questions.
Earn Some Extra
Finally, we could all use a bit more cash even after you’ve budgeted. So finding a source of “side income” might be a good idea. Something like forex trading might be an option, there are also some really great freelancing sites. You can for sure turn your skill into some side income. Now, it might not be that easy to get a freelancing gig right away and it might take some time to find the ideal match for your skillset. Take your time to find a side gig that is interesting and fairly enjoyable. Sometimes our 9-5 (primary job) is just a way for us to pay the bills and we may not actually enjoy it, so take some time to evaluate your side hustle options.
Drop any money managing tips in the comments, or tell us how these tips might have helped you!
Happy money managing