It is possible to become financially mature at any age and you will find that it has a major impact on reducing the stresses of life. Having money isn’t about striking it rich, it about knows what to do with the money you do actually have. In order to become financially mature, you have to learn how to make the most of your money.
Here are some simple ways to become more mature with your money:
Spend less than what you make.
Sticking to a budget is easier said than done with credit card limits tempting you to spend more than you make. Many Americans are overspending on their credit cards so you are not alone. If you have trouble staying within your means, switch to paying with cash only. Once the cash runs out, you can’t spend anymore.
Pay a little now to avoid a lot in the future.
All of the car maintenance that you might be putting off is a great example of how to save money in the long run by taking care of small things now. After all, an oil change is cheaper than a new car. The same goes for the dentist — compare the cost of a cleaning and a root canal, and it’s easy to see.
Stay insured and take care of your health especially, because medical debt is one of the hardest things to climb out of. It could even affect your career if you have to go on disability. You’ll find out in the long run that taking care of your health and other major items is worth it to your wallet.
Steer clear of get-rich-quick schemes.
Ask any wealthy person and they will tell you that earning their money took time and came with a lot of hard work and tough decisions. When you hear about a get-rich-quick scheme that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can’t skip the hard work by attending one of those ‘business opportunity’ seminars.
Set financial goals.
If you want to end up in a different financial situation, then you have to set goals to get there. People who don’t make good goals end up staying right where they are indefinitely. You need to know where you want to go if you want to figure out how to get there. Otherwise you won’t know exactly what you should do because you don’t know you’re going. That sounds confusing, but it’s really simple.
Get rid of any unused subscriptions.
Monthly subscriptions are popular right now for everything from music to beauty products delivered to your door. Take stock of how often you use each subscription you have and determine which ones are expendable. There’s no point spending extra money every month for a service you use only a few times a year.
Avoid shopping as a form of therapy.
Shopping while you’re upset as a means to make yourself feel better ends up hurting your wallet. If you are the type who always runs out to the mall or your favorite store during difficult times, think of one item that you actually need. Then, withdraw only the cash required to make the purchase and enjoy yourself. Believe me, you can wait on buying new sneakers for a few weeks, and when you finally have the money together, shop around for lesser-known retailers that have better prices.
Always ask the price upfront.
Salespeople often rely on the fact that you might be too embarrassed to ask the price or later admit that you actually can’t afford it. Don’t get sold on anything before you know whether or not you can afford it. Be clear about what you are able to spend, especially when it’s a particularly large purchase.
Buy gifts ahead of time.
The moment you are invited to an event that requires a present, start planning for what you will bring. Shopping for gifts last minute will cost you extra so start brainstorming when you put it on your calendar. Consider picking up holiday gifts throughout the year to avoid the end of year crunch.
Limit how often you eat out.
Going to restaurants is convenient and can provide a nice change of pace, but you shouldn’t eat out every night if you want to be financially mature. You can cut your spending on meals by half if you cook at home instead of heading to your favorite restaurant or picking up takeout on the way home.
Reuse your leftover food.
When you do go to a restaurant, always ask for a box to take home your leftovers. Whether you are eating in or out, there is usually some leftover food. Don’t just throw it out when you can use it to create another meal. You can even get creative and make a new dish out of one of the sides or the entree.
Don’t let your food go to waste.
Buying in bulk may work for large families, but if you are throwing out food every week then you should reconsider how often you go to the grocery store. Buying food every few days instead of stocking up will actually save you money in the long run. When you throw out food, you are just throwing out your money.
Learn from your mistakes.
If you take a look at the statistics, you might be surprised to find out that most Americans aren’t very good with their money. Going into debt is something that many of us have to deal with. Getting help to recover from debt is essential, but it’s also important to learn from your mistakes so you don’t repeat them in the future.