Money can be stressful and often times can become the center of our lives if we aren’t careful. Over the years following my graduation from college, I learned what it truly meant to stress over money. I began to acquire more bills than I expected. I had my rent, phone bill, student loan bill and a bunch of others to think about every month. I will admit, I have missed a payment or two because I was unorganized. So, after that point, I began to research different ways to stay on track with my bills.
The one thing I found most helpful was to write down every bill I had for the month and what I was starting out with in the account. As I paid them off, I would highlight them showing how much I paid towards that bill and how much I had left in the account. You can do this in a number of different ways. You can buy a poster board if you want it out in the open and put it on there, you can write it on a piece of paper in list form, or you can use an excel spread sheet showing you what is left. Be creative with it. Paying bills doesn’t have to be boring and dull. Decorate your sheet with stickers or draw some pictures on your poster board.
Another money saver is to take your cash you get from your paycheck and keep it separated in a small folder. Set aside so much for one bill, an amount for food and even keep some spending money set aside. After you have mastered these techniques or your own technique, start putting money into a savings account. Go to your local bank and open a simple savings account. Most savings accounts will earn you some interest over time. It might not be a lot of interest but it is something. For example, at my bank, I earn .5% interest with what I have in my account every month.
If you want to earn more money than a simple savings account can give you, try a money market or CD. There is a difference between the two, however. A money market will not earn you as much interest as a CD will but that money that is in the money market is accessible at any time if you have an emergency or need a little extra money to make your bills go through. You do have to keep a larger minimum in the Money market than a regular savings. Some credit unions or banks as for you to keep 1000.00 minimum balance in order to not get a fee. A CD, on the other hand, has to hold the money in the account for a certain amount of time. If you try to access that money before the designated time slot, you will lose the interest that you have gained. Both of these accounts will save you more money than a normal savings account but again, there are stipulations with each one.
Some financial institutions offer other ways to invest your money, so make sure to ask them about all your options when you go in. If you want to be old fashioned, you can even keep a jar in your home and put all of your extra money in it but if you are wanting to save a larger amount, you might want to go with one of the other options your financial institution can offer you.