The festive season has come and gone. How did you manage your money during the holidays?
If you are like most people, you have probably spent too much and now have to face the following consequences: more debt to repay on your credit cards and less cash flow. This can be very tough and stressful.
Added to this, the cost of living has skyrocketed, and many are feeling the pinch.
If it feels like you are always left with more month than money, running low on cash flow before your next payday, then it is time to make some changes to the way you manage your money.
If you have spent too much, if the higher cost of living has caught up with you, or if you have racked up extra debt, leaving you with a shortfall in your cash flow each month, you can consider a few fixes to get your cash flow back on track.
You can do something about it.
You can develop a new money management strategy that can help you fix your finances.
Today, I want you to consider a few fixes to help you manage your money better through the month. Try to apply a few of these tips to your money management.
1. Wipe Out Your Debt
Debt erodes cash flow and causes stress.
Many underestimate how much debt they have and how much they need to repay on the debt instalments.
I highly suggest that you list your debts.
You need to know what you owe in debt as well as what your minimum monthly repayment expectation is.
Set up a plan to get out of debt by first clearing your small debts, and then moving to your larger debts.
You need to face your debt. Get determined to deal with your debt.
May this year be the year that you declare war on your debt!
2. Sell Something
Can you sell any unused items and goods that are just gathering dust in your garage?
You may have accumulated so much “stuff” that you don’t need or use.
You can consider selling this on a site like Gumtree, and use the proceeds to squash your debt, thereby bringing your monthly expenses down.
3. Earn Extra Income
Can you possible earn extra income by using your talents, skills, and extra time to earn more income?
Whether it be selling Tupperware, offering to walk dogs, starting a babysitting or delivery service, doing consulting, baking cakes, or teaching music, you can develop your entrepreneurial skills and create additional income streams that can improve your cash flow.
4. Debt Consolidation
If you have several small debts with different repayment terms and amounts, you could approach your bank and see if you can consolidate your debt into one larger debt, with a fixed monthly repayment over a certain term.
This can often help you reduce your payment and help you restructure your finances.
However, if you do consolidate your debt, please don’t use your extra cash flow to take on more debt.
You will then defeat the purpose of debt consolidation – the aim is to settle your debt, not to create more debt.
Downsizing for a season can improve your cash flow.
If you trade in your car and get a less expensive one, not only will your car instalment reduce, but your insurance premium and petrol bills will also be less.
If your debt is severe, you could also consider downgrading your home for a season to break the debt cycle and improve your cash flow until you are back on your feet.
6. Review Your Fixed Expenses
Why not review your short-term insurance, mobile contract, or data contract? You will be presently surprised at how much you can save by simply getting a few counter quotes.
Any money saved will help to reduce your overall expenses.
Please just make sure that you only make use of reputable providers and that you compare apples with apples.
7. Review Your Spending
Do you know where your money going?
You need to track your spending…
Examine your bank accounts and credit card statements. They don’t lie. You need to to establish where you are spending your money.
You need to investigate your finances. Are there any unnecessary debits that you can cut?
If you need help investigating your finances, click here to read our blog post!
8. Plug The Leaks In Your Budget
Just like a small leak can sink a great ship, so small leaks in your budget can sink you financially.
Are there any spending leaks or expenses that you need to plug?
It’s time to cut all wasteful expenses.
9. Differentiate Between Your “Needs” And “Wants”
Before you spend, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”
If not, don’t buy that item. Rather cut it from your expenses.
You need to clearly review what the essential items in your budget are and what is non-essential.
Ask yourself, “ Do I really need this or is this just a nice-to-have?”
Only spend money on the nice-to-haves when your cash flow permits you to.
Every cent saved is a cent that you earn.
10. Cut Back On Your Luxuries
Can you cut back on your entertainment or luxury items for a season, thereby improving your cash flow?
Maybe instead of going out twice a week, you can cut it out once.
You could consider scaling back on your upmarket restaurant visits. Look out for specials and maybe exchange your Michelin meal for a burger night.
You could even replace your expensive date night with a walk on the beach and an ice cream!
Remember the best things in life are not always the expensive items. The best memories can sometimes be the picnics in the country or the walks on the beach.
11. Get Your Financial Priorities In Order
It’s important to get your financial priorities in the right order.
You cannot spend money on a holiday or new outfit until you have covered your basics living expenses.
This may seem like common sense, but many spend on the spur-of-the-moment, maxing out their credit cards and causing so much financial and family stress.
12. Review Your Budget Regularly
Whether you write it out in a book or use a simple excel spreadsheet, it is important to keep track of your income and expenses.
By listing your income and expenses, you will be able to manage your money better and prioritize what’s important to you.
Also, make allowance in your budget for higher inflation as when interest rates increase so does your debt repayment. (The average person is paying around R1800 pm more on a R1million bond compared to last year this time.)
If you want to manage your money better, in a God-honoring way while building up wealth for your future, I suggest that you consider the 10:20:70 principle – Manage your money like a pro!
The 10:20:70 Principle In Summary…
Give your first 10% of what you earn to God.
You can do this by tithing to your church and supporting a ministry.
When you put God first, He takes care of the rest.
There are many powerful scriptures on giving to God, but let me just share four…
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and you’ll your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)
“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)
“Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left overto share with others.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Put God first.
Save and invest 20% of what you earn.
I suggest that you spread this between your savings (funds set aside for short-term emergencies and opportunities) and your investments (long-term growth investments to build wealth for your future)
If you want to learn more about savings and investments, click here to read our blog post!
When you set a part of your money aside in savings and investments, you are building your wealth portfolio.
If you choose to prioritize saving and investing after you spend money on the other important items in your budget, you will never build wealth.
By including your savings and investments in your budget, before you spend on other expenses, you will be converting part of your income into assets that can set you up for a brighter future.
There are many powerful scriptures on saving in the Bible, but let me just share three…
“The wise have wealth and luxury (saves for the future), but fools spend whatever they get.” (Proverbs 21:20)
“Whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.” (Proverbs 13:11)
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”(Proverbs 6:6-8)
Save and invest before you spend.
Live on the remaining 70%.
First cover your basic needs, such as bond/rent, transport, your children’s needs, and insurance. Only once you have these essentials covered should you consider spending money on the extras.
Look at these scriptures on providing for your family, being a good steward of what God has entrusted you with, and trusting God…
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
“Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.” (Psalms 37:25)
Jesus says, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
Note: The 10:20:70 principle can set you up for a brighter and blessed future, but it will take you some time to implement if you are currently managing your money poorly.
If you can’t stick to this principle now, why not consider making small adjustments to your budget over time so you can build towards this.
Maybe at present you can only give 2% to God and only save 2% of your income. Over time as you improve your money management and settle your debts, you can build towards applying the 10:20:70 principle fully.
Develop A Money Management Strategy
I trust that these simple fixes and principles will help you develop a money management strategy that will honor God, help you build wealth, and help you manage your money better – with less stress and more joy, while positioning yourself for a fruitful financial future.
Remember, it all starts and ends with God, so make Jesus the center of it all.
Jesus says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
God bless you.
Enter your name and email address to get INSTANT access to these life-changing eBooks via email!