Learn to Save Money
Teaching yourself, or someone you know, how to save money.
Money is an important thing. In this world, you cannot survive without it. Everything costs money. If you can't pay, you can't have.
So why do we have people who constantly spend, blowing all of their money, and having zero on them or in their account?
Why You Need To Be Good With Money
If you're not good with money and spend it all within a few days of being paid then you have a problem. You will not survive living like this, and mooching off of someone else (or living off of someone else) is not okay.
Sure, if you're a teenager you most likely won't have anything to pay for other than food when you're out, clothes, trips to the cinema, etc. But if you don't learn when you're younger, I promise you, you will learn the hard way as an adult.
Do not make this mistake.
Once you hit adulthood (or even late teens) you'll be buying more things for yourself. Smart clothing for college, university, or job interviews. Paying for driving lessons or to keep the car itself on the road. Or even your mobile phone bill, and food shopping and home bills.
How can you cover these, if you're not capable of keeping money?
Need new technology? Or want to treat yourself to a holiday? Depending on the quality tech you need (my computer cost me £1,200 due to what I needed) you must have that discipline otherwise you will never get what you need.
And you cannot expect others to hand over the money for you.
Nobody else is going to pay for an expensive laptop to do your work or cover your part of the mortgage because you feel the need to buy things that 1: aren't needed, and 2: take up space.
How Can You Learn To Be Good With Money?
Step 1: figure out the amount of money you've had over the last few months. For each month, write out the total, and figure out how much you have spent, and what you've spent it on.
Step 2: Look at the list and ask yourself if you really need all of this shit.
Are you constantly buying shoes or clothes because "they're pretty" or "popular" even though you'll wear them once at most? Or are you buying snacks and junk food? Despite knowing there's food at home you can make and will be more nutritious.
Cut back. If you want to learn properly, then I'm sorry, but you need to discipline yourself. Be strict. You will still be allowed to treat yourself, but you'll do it and have money for the rest of the month, and even at the end of the month.
Make It Last.
Can't make your money last a week? Start with that.
Once you successfully have money left over at the end of every week, make what you have last for two weeks, then a month.
Learn from your bad habits. Break them, overcome them.
You never know what emergency payment may come up, be it medication, a new piece of uniform, or something else of importance.
If You Have To Keep Asking For Cash, You Can't Afford What You Want
Let's go with an example. If you want to go to the cinema with your friends, but don't have the money yourself (because you blew it all last week) then sorry, but you cannot afford to go.
Does that suck? Yes, of course, it does. But just because you keep asking someone for money, doesn't mean they can always afford it.
There is also a saying I think works well here: "If you can't afford to buy it twice, you can't afford it."
Learn To Save.
Get a money box. One which you can easily open to take money out.
Excellent. Now any spare change or money you have goes in there. You will not touch that money.
Yes, you could easily take the lid off and take your £2 change for fast food, but how will you save if you don't train yourself to leave it alone?
If you put all of the 10s, 20s, 50s you find and have into that money jar and do not touch it, you will save up money. You can do the same with a different jar, but saving up your 1s, 2s, and 5s.
Have a bank account? Put it into the bank and either leave it in your current account or get a savings account and put it there and forget about it.
Savings Account And Emergency Fund
When it comes to storing money, I have a current account, a savings account, and a separate account which my house fund is kept.
The house fund account I do not touch, ever, unless I am putting money into it. Money goes in, then I forget about it.
My savings account is both my personal savings and my emergency fund.
I'm not saving up for anything in particular (other than a house, but that money is elsewhere) so I have money I don't need to spend.
It's also best to have an emergency fund of at least £1,000. That way, if anything happens and major repairs are needed (examples being, damage to your car or home) then you have that emergency fund there to cover the costs.
Now, my personal savings aren't at the £1,000 minimum like I suggested it should. Why? Well for starters, I had to pay for a brand new bed at the start of the year, thanks to the one I had before giving up after 10 years of use. There have also been a few other payments needed, and the fact that I'm not currently earning a hell of a lot, meaning I can't put that much away.
I feel it's best to add that I am also registered as self-employed, therefore I need to do my own taxes each year. If I don't save 1/3rd of my money earned from self-employment work, I could risk having to pay taxes out of my own pocket, and not cash that I saved up to cover it.
This may sound odd, but it is something which really helped me improve my previous saving skills.
For almost two years, I had a monthly subscription box. This cost me £27 a month, but the payment went out at the end of every month. The day before payday.
If I didn't have that money in my current account, I wasn't having that box next month.
It's also worth noting I give £1 to a patreon account each month. It's not a lot, but I still have to keep in mind that I have that payment.
Each month I'd look at my current account, (multiple times a week, just to make sure I'm still good for the month and know what I do and don't have) I would take the total I have in there, take away the subscription box cost, and figure out what I had left in my account.
Say I had £74.31 left in my account after moving money aside to my personal/emergency savings.
I would then have £47.31 left for the remainder of that month. Whether there was a week left, or if I'd calculated this on the second of that month. That's what I had, and I would make it last the month. If it was a case of having between £5 to £10 left in my account come payday, I'd make it last.
I am very proud to say that I have never gone into my overdraft before. And I will make sure I never do.
You don't have to have a subscription box as costly as the one I had, but that did boost my money skills. It taught me more than what I knew before by just not spending it because I had a regular payment to make, and if I wanted to keep receiving something I enjoyed, then I needed to work to make sure I could get it.
It's probably worth noting, that due to being self-employed, my paycheck can change from month to month, depending on how many days I work. Some months, I may work one day (when we come back from the summer holidays, the last day of that month is the only one we work) so I'll get paid even less, meaning, to have more money the next month, this month's money has to last even longer.
If you can't save for shit, then never get a credit card. Your inability to save isn't worth going crazy with a credit card, only to end up in severe debt and having a ruined credit score.
If you're worried you'll spend more with your money in a bank account, see if you can start off with the option to have a book, not a card. That way you can only withdraw money by going directly to the bank and taking it out. This is a great method for younger kids and is how I started with a bank account.
If you know you won't be able to pay it back, because you spend everything you get, don't ever borrow money from someone. It's not cool.
It might seem boring, or awful that you can't spend as you did. But once you've nailed this, you can treat yourself again. A small amount here or there.
I got paid yesterday and treated myself to some clothing off of depop, as well as some nail supplies. From time to time during the month my partner and I may order milkshakes and have those as a treat too. But I will always make sure I make my money last, and if I can't pay for something myself (unless someone states that it's their treat) then I can't have it and that's okay. I'd much rather have the money, than not have it.
Money can be very stressful. I'll admit I worry regularly about it. But I have these skills, and I've had them for many years. They'll help me when I need them to, and once I start earning more money, I'll have even more savings and be even better with money, because I can already manage it at a smaller scale.
Money isn't something which needs to be spent the second it lands in your hands or your account.
Learn that now, or you'll learn it the hard way.