Learning to manage money
This story was submitted to us from a participant on the Washington Ireland Programme 2011 who had to learn to try to live within their means.
I think one of the most difficult things to do ever is to manage my money so that I live within my means. There is always so much going on and it all costs so much that I find it really difficult to make sure I have enough money to do everything I want to do.
I find it especially difficult when my friends have birthdays and at Christmas time, when I am expected to buy presents for everyone. Most of my money comes from a weekend job job, but my parents help me out too when they can.
Until recently I always struggled and was always asking my parents and friends for loans. I started doing a couple of simple things can help me manage my money better.
Steps to manage
First of all I always prepare a budget. This is where I plan all the money I am going to be earning from my job, parents and money I usually get for my birthday and Christmas.
How much spent
Then I write down a list of the things I have to spend money on. I do this at the start of each month. By doing this I know how much money I have left over to spend on other things, such as going out with my friends and going to the cinema. It also means that I have an idea of how I am spending my money each month, which comes in handy when I am trying to save for something big.
The hardest thing is not the preparation of a budget but rather actually keeping to it. I try to be disciplined by putting my money in places where I can’t get it too easily, such as the credit union or other savings accounts. I also ask my parents to help me by giving me money in small amounts as opposed to a lump sum.
The final thing I always like to do is that if I have surplus money I put it into my savings account, that way, when something unexpected comes up I have some extra money which I can use to pay for it.