Whether or not you have enough money to last you this festive period is dependent on how you managed your finances this year.
How much have you made this year? How much did you spend? How much is left? What did you spend the most on? What are your Money Dials?
Money dials are areas where we have the most natural tendency to spend money. To find out a person’s money dial, all you need is to discover what the person is most likely to spend money on.
Check your Money Dials
So, you can say that your money dial is the reason you spend the way you do; as they are a clear indication of your spending habits.
Everyone has an area or aspect that they are naturally inclined to spend money on.
Generally, there are Ten common money dials, that cut across most human needs and wants. They include;
9. Social status
Looking at the list above, what have you spent the most money on? Have you given a lot to family? Or spent on designer items? Have you shopped from home a lot? Or paid for a gym subscription every month, did you go on a vacation? Whatever you’ve spent the most money on is your money dial. And would determine whether or not you have enough money to get through the festive season.
Your money dials help you understand what you spend money on the most, why and most importantly if what you spend the most money on brings you value or if it is a liability.
Awareness of your money dials would help you to spend consciously and enables you to redirect your spending appropriately for you to yield the results that you want.
Once you understand your money dial, and you accept it, you can control it by zooming in on what you love in their order of importance.
If you’re just getting to know about money dials below are some rules of personal finance that could help.
1. Don’t spend more than you make
After receiving your paycheck, it is easy to begin to make purchases of items of your wants and when your needs arise you may no longer have your money and you will have to borrow to settle your needs, thereby accumulating debt and spending more than you have.
A good way to navigate the issue of overspending would be to create a budget, calculate your monthly income and tailor your spending to not be above your income. Spending more than you earn has a lot of side effects with dire consequences, as it could cause debt accumulation which could spiral out of control.
Another solution is to plan always, if, for instance, you plan to put away 20% of your earnings after tax every month in a savings account and spend the rest on your wants and needs, when an emergency arises, you can always have a fallback.
You can also get advice from people around you like your parents or relatives with good spending habits and try to emulate the way they spend and save their money.
2. Get out of debt and stop borrowing
Another rule of personal finance is as regards debt, one of the enemies of financial stability is debt however some methods can be used to manage debt.
i. Make the minimum payment on all your debts, then pay off the smallest debt first, one at a time. This way you’ll pay off debts faster.
ii. Another method is to first pay off debts with the highest interest rates. Like credit card debts.
3. Create an emergency fund
This is important for unforeseen circumstances and emergencies so that when such situations arise, so you don’t go into debt or exhaust all your cash at hand and go broke.
4. Follow the 70:20:10 rule
This rule helps you to divide your spending budget into percentages and spend according to how you’ve divided it. 70:20:10 budgeting rule is a simple principle that you can follow to help you figure out how much of your income you can spend, save, and use for debt repayments regardless of the amount you earn or level of debt.
Divide your salary or income by 70%, 20% and 10%:
70% for all your monthly expenses – such as bills, food etc
20% of your income should go into your savings.
10% goes to the repayment of any debt you may have, starting with the most important.
5. Make careful purchases
Before making any purchases do your research to ensure that you’re not purchasing from a scam website or vendor, also ensure that you’re being given the product for the right price, be sure to search the internet and make sure you’re getting a good deal and that you cannot get the same quality of product cheaper elsewhere before shopping.
6. Separate your emotions from your finances
It is important to cut out emotional spending, that is spending on unnecessary things to make yourself happy or comfort yourself or fill a void when you are sad. Find other alternatives that would not eat deep into your finances. For instance, instead of buying a new dress when you feel sad, listen to a podcast, instead of splurging on designer items when you’re depressed take up a hobby like painting or read a self-help book.
Do you find yourself spending the bulk of your income on friends and family? Create a budget for family and friends and try not to exceed that budget.
7. Create a meal plan and stick to it
One of the most popular ways to spend money is by spending it on food. Most of the expenses we make often involve food. But everyone must eat. So, a smart way to save money on food would be to create a meal plan. So instead of eating out, buy ingredients that you will need for a meal at home or buy food in bowls and stock up the house so that there would be less need to eat out and spend so much money on food.
If you implemented all these rules of personal finance, your December budget should be looking good. If you didn’t, there are more Christmas celebrations to come. So, learn your money dials, digest, understand and make them part of your 2022.