How to Effectively Take Control of your Money

By: Cornie Herring

Do you often find yourself running out of money even before payday? Do you wonder why you can't afford to buy a new car or take the vacation you want when other people who make as much money as you do can? If you have these feeling, you are not alone. This is the common feeling for many people, money always run short. Most of the time, the problem may not be cause by the level of income, but what most of us doing with our income that drag us to the shortage of money. Take control of your money is the solution to make your money do more for you. The question is how to effectively take control of your money?

In fact, you do not need to have a complex formula in taking control of you money, a simple formula such as be aware of how and where you spend it, and invest it is the most effective way to create a wealthy financially lifestyle for yourself. In order to implement this simple formula in taking control of your money, you need to generate an effective plan for your money that can encourages you to develop a set of priorities that helps you to achieve your financial goals.

"What are my financial goals?" You can always start your financial goals setting process by asking this first question. Always start with your short-term goals. Set up a four-column list on a piece of paper, list down all your wishes of things like new cars and vacations which should also including upcoming financial obligations such as taxes and insurance premiums. In the first column, write down your financial goals, and put the estimation cost into the second columns. Every goal should have a date of realization; place these dates into the third column. From the estimate cost stated at second column and the date of realization, calculate how much money you will need to start saving each month so that you have enough money to realize your goal, write the monthly savings amount into the forth column.

The ideal case is your income is enough to cover the total monthly savings for all your financial goals, but in reality it may not be true. What if you find that you can't save enough money each month to meet all of your short-term financial goals? Then, you have to one of two things:

1) Reduce your price expectations. For example, spend less on your vacation coming up in 6 months. Or change your vacation location from oversea to domestic.

2) Increase the amount of time before you achieve your goal. For example, delay the purchase of your new car for another six months.

Basically, your financial goals should be flexible enough to inline with your financial affordability and the goals should be reachable.

Once your have set your short-term goals, do the same for your long-term financial goals. In setting your long term financial goals, you also need to figure out how much money to be set aside for emergencies uses. The costs of retirement or college education for your children that won't occur for a number of years are both certainly moving targets. Your long-term goals should be reviewed from time to time to ensure you are on track and if not, what are the adjustments should be made.

Certainly, you should try to save and invest as much of your monthly income as you can at all the times, but realistically your priorities change depending on which financial phase of your life your are in. Invest your money wisely to generate profit out from your money, not the opposite. Most investments have certain risks which you should consider before you put your money in, generally high gain high risk, follow your own risk profile and select the investment portfolio that suit your own risk profile.

Summary

You need to take control of your money so that your money can do more for you; give your money more purposes by documenting your financial goals that involve how's your money is going to help you to realize your financial goals.

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