A few important things to remember when you need more money.

Recently, one of my friends posted on Facebook that she needed more money.  She wasn’t talking about anything specific.  She was simply sending a message out to the universe (Law of Attraction style).

While I understand the concept of drawing money to ourselves, we often overlook the simplest way of having more money.

Stop spending what you already have.

So often we focus on bringing more money in (earning a better monthly commission or getting a higher paying job) that we forget about making the most of what we already have.

This would be an opportune time to mention that I am not a financial expert or advisor.  Not even close.  Most of the complex intricacies of finance go straight over my head.  The basic (but for some reason often overlooked) tips below are simply aspects from my own financial situation that I have been working on.

Here are some things to consider, if you need more money.

Have a budget and stick to it

The dreaded B word.  I know budgeting doesn’t sound very sexy does it?  Mind you, having people chase me for money, doesn’t sound all that sexy and appealing either!

Budgeting to most people signifies boredom and sacrifice.  If you are in a serious financial bind, then yes you might have to make some considerable sacrifices to get yourself out of trouble.  Some adjustments to your lifestyle, at least for a while, will be in order. 

If you are earning good money, yet want to have more cash on hand, think of your budget as a road map to financial freedom.

Everyone blows their budget occasionally, I haven’t been too good with mine lately.  In fact, I need to do up a new budget to reflect my changing circumstances.  But there is blowing the budget in a small way and blowing it completely.  Obviously you want to avoid the later.

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Know how much it costs you to live each week

If I asked you exactly how much it costs to you to live each week, would you be able to give me an accurate figure?  Even a ballpark amount?

You absolutely must know this amount.  You need to know how much your bills cost you every week.  I’m not talking about socialising and shoe shopping here.  I’m talking about your mortgage or rent, grocery bill,  electricity bill, water bill, insurance, Internet, mobile etc.  Whatever your basic expenses are each week.

Once you know how much you spend each week simply to live, you can think about shaving some of those costs (if there is any wriggle room) or cutting down on those other socialising, shoe shopping costs.

It’s not rocket science – if you spend your basic bill money every week, you are going to get into financial trouble.

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Understand your debt situation

Do you know exactly the amount of debt that you owe right now?  I am talking about all of your debts.  Your mortgage, credit cards (yes the total of them combined – not just the one that you use the most), loans to family or friends, car payments.  All of it.  If you don’t know how much you owe, then you should.

You also need an effective plan of attack for paying off as much debt as you can (while still having a life).  Aim for paying off the big interest chargers (like credit cards) as quickly as possible.

If you are drowning in credit card debt, for goodness sake – stop using them to buy things.  Focus on paying off the amounts you owe.

Understand your assets including cash

Take stock of what assets you have.  In particular how much cash you have.  Do you know exactly how much you have in your savings account at the moment?

While EFTPOS is incredibly convenient, you need to have a separate savings account as well.  One that you are not dipping into all of the time.  You need an account where the money goes in and stays there for a while (preferably earning some interest while it hangs around).

While owning your house outright is fabulous (and will most likely mean you have more available cash), the house itself will not pay to put food on your table every day.  You need cash.

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How much are you saving each pay?

If that question left you asking – what savings? – then you need to do some reassessing. 

I know in these tough financial times, many people (especially those who have lost their jobs and are struggling to find another one) are probably living off their savings or worse, have none left whatsoever. 

If you are working and earning good money, then you should be putting aside a little (or a lot) in savings each pay.  Get into the habit of putting money aside.  Get a thrill out of watching that amount steadily grow.

Years ago when I was working as a PA in a sales company, I would talk about money to my friends who worked in sales.  Some of these people made at least 4 times more than I did, yet I was the one that saved and went overseas nearly every year.  One of them couldn’t comprehend how someone on my salary, could possibly save as much as I did. 

The answer. While  they made a lot of money, they had extremely extravagant lifestyles, many resulting in at least $10K in credit card debt at any one time.  I had a great lifestyle at the time, but when I was saving to go overseas, I made sacrifices and compromised, so I could travel.

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While sending messages of abundance out to the universe is all fine and good, you also need to be smart and realistic about your financial future.

It’s your hard earned money. Be the one in control of how you spend it.

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