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Whether you earn a little or a lot, it’s always wise to budget and plan your finances smartly. Common mistakes that most people would make when it comes to money is getting too deep in debt, paying bills late, and not knowing how to save for the future. You can avoid making these mistakes by always keeping track of where your money goes and knowing what you can spend on.

Here are some steps that you can use for managing your money wisely:
 
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  Financial goals reflect things you want to do with your money within a certain period of time. Setting these goals will help you understand the value of money and encourage prudent spending. Be sure to know how long you should plan for each goal.

Are they short, medium or long term goals? Which one of the following are your financial goals?
 
 
Buying a house
Buying a car
Starting a family
Child’s education plan
Traveling
Medical and Health Insurance
Saving for retirement
   
  After setting your goals, start developing a spending plan so that it’s easier to achieve your goals. Remember that your aim is not to cut your budget but to note the direction of your spending.

With this you will know:
 
  • Where and how you spend your money
  • How much you owe monthly
  • How much is left at the end of the month
   
  If you find that you have nothing left at the end of the month, it’s time to assess your spending habits. Look through your list of expenses and determine if they are a necessity or luxury item.

Look out for the following warning signals of bad spending habits that may lead to real money problems:
 
  • You use your savings to pay current bills
  • You take new loans to pay for old ones
  • You owe more than you earn
  • You buy on impulse even when you know you cannot afford it
   
  A spending plan can help you manage your finances. You can also target areas where spending is out of control and also set a clear path for saving.

You can start making your own spending plan by using this simple guide:
 
  • Establish your monthly total income
  • Add up your total expenses including fixed monthly bills, loan repayments, rentals and daily living expenses, etc
  • Put aside a fixed sum of money to meet emergencies or seasonal expenses (e.g. school fees, road tax, insurance renewals)
 
 
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For more information on how to manage your money wisely, download our booklet on Managing Your Money or learn about our financial planning tools for consumers.