Managing Finances

Nuclear Family!...
Image by ramesh.rasaiyan via Flickr

                                         MANAGING FINANCES

In the world of changing economic times, many people are embroiled with issues about how well and how best they can lead meaningful and enjoyable if not luxurious lifestyles. In the olden days, there was plenty of food for everyone. Security was nothing to worry about. People did not pay attention to extra income and there was little concern if one got a satisfying job or not. People loved each other unconditionally. The weather and climate were excellent and land very fertile where people could cultivate and get abundant harvest to feed the community and themselves plus another to push them to the next season. Generosity was the order of the day.
     Many communities also had their means of settling issues when a dispute arose. In terms of relationships, people got married when they are fully mature not to mention their body physique due to the healthy natural and traditional foods they were eating. There was no adventure or trial and error when it came to issues of marriage and relationships. Most of the time, men and women could marry their first catch because mostly it depended on strength and physical qualities and on the first come first serve basis. The ceremonies were also very elaborate and involved both families of the bride and the groom. The community and relatives were also in handy to give all the support where it was needed to make sure everything was a success.
     The bottom line of all these was to keep the community together both in good and in difficult times and mostly it helped in security reasons where the community could successfully regroup and resist external aggressors. Human civilization has brought with it many changes some of which are beneficial to the society while others are not. Capitalism became stronger than communism and slowly, nuclear families began pulling apart and away from the community responsibilities creating room for more independence. Various activities also changed and things were now handled at the family level and each one now struggled on its own, being headed by the husband or man of the house. The emergence of industrialization which started in Europe and spread to other parts of the world also brought with it many new inventions. New machines were developed; manufacturing factories were built which produced many products for human use.
    Human lifestyle eventually changed with modern-day equipment transforming how things are done and handled. Capitalism has brought competition among countries to create more opportunities for generating income and increasing wealth in different sectors of the economy. All these directly affected the way people lead their lifestyle and it cuts across all generations, age groups and gender. It all brings the question; how much do I have to spend? The spending also involves all the necessary basic needs as well as the secondary ones which we can do without but must also be there to make life complete and enjoyable. Besides all these there must also be some bucks set aside for the future as well as for entertaining loved ones.
    With the current economic times that has affected every industry in the world; it is  only fair and smart if everyone was a step ahead of any bad financial situation before it happens. And like the saying, a good shooter who shoots without missing makes the bird to run and fly without perching, it is time to devise ways of flying all through before we are shot by the awkward money problems that are unpredictable. These principles can also apply to future investment decisions but more so they fit the day-to-day money matters in life and can help in family financial management.
 
Starting Early
  Nothing beats all numbers and guns like an early preparation for anything. Consider a team waiting anxiously for a crucial qualifying match and then out of the blues, you arrive late for the event or take the example of a young man who has won the heart of a woman he has chased for a long time and it is their first date. He arrives before time, well dressed, pulls the chair for the lucky woman and they enjoy the night away very sure to leave early or on time. Same applies to finances, when saving for a future plan or project, start early and the benefits will be very pleasant.

Priorities or shopping list
  Before purchasing something, ask the question, can I do without it for a short while as I plan for it? The question will guide you in setting priorities on the most important stuff first then check on the luxuries later. More importantly, prepare a shopping list and sleep over it before you exchange your hard-earned cash for a contraband toothpick or a blank movie DVD. Be very strict with the priorities and shopping list because the method can also help you in organizing your time schedule and daily activities.

Eating outside
  When you treat yourself in a fast food restaurant, it consumes more of your time and money considering that you will pay even for stuff or services that you do not use or need. The best way should be to buy the ingredients in bulk or sizable quantities and prepare yourself a nice and delicious meal in the house which you will eat to your fill. Another advantage of this is that you can cook once to eat twice thus saving you a lot of energy and time. When you work for a company that does not have a meal program, it is also advisable to carry your packed meal to work. This will cut down your costs greatly.

Living together
  The times are changing where it is increasingly becoming a challenge to find rental houses in convenient places and estates. The few available are charged highly with exclusion of electricity and water bill costs. All this brings high expenses when added top transport to and from places of work causing a strain to the living costs. The best alternative would be to cohabit with a friend so that you share the rent fee which normally takes a larger percentage of our earnings. The reduced amount can then be channeled to other uses. Living together works better among trusted friends and can also involve a woman and a man.

Physical necessities and appearance
  This involves how we groom ourselves entirely. The accessories we put and how we treat and invest in our bodies also goes along way with how we manage our finances. Looking presentable is the epitome of beauty in women and they would not want to compromise on this no matter what happens. Traditionally they invest a lot in their hair and make up. As an alternative to cut down on costs for a new project, you may opt to trim your hair to a manageable height.

 This can be maintained regularly as it won’t go away with all the beauty.

 

Knowing the market
   It is also necessary to keep tabs with market trends in the country. Knowing joints and shops where prices are cheap also helps to save money. It is also a trend that certain supermarkets and stores give offers at the end of the month. You can capitalize on this and buy goods in bulk. There are also loyalty cards used in almost all leading supermarkets in the country like the Magic Cards, Reward Cards and Smart Cards. A single card should be used by the family in bulk purchases for more points to be gained. During festive seasons also, many promotions are a common practice and making use of such opportunities helps a great deal.

Unit Trust and Mutual funds.
  Unit trusts are firms that people deposit their constant monthly contribution for future use in case of tragedy or otherwise. The amount in question is deducted in monthly salary on instruction of the depositor for a certain period. Depending on the amount contributed, the depositor can collect his or her share on expiry of the agreed period and the money can be a source of investment fund. Various firms offer this service at competitive rates.

These tips when applied can surely change our financial management skills for the better. Good luck.

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