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Money management is an important skill for everyone—not just bachelors—and it is something you will probably be doing for the rest of your life. In this blog post, I will be sharing some money management tips for bachelors.
Now that you are living a bachelor’s life, you have a lot of new challenges to face. You have got to keep your apartment clean, and you can’t just go to the grocery store whenever you are hungry. You need to buy groceries. And, of course, there is money management.
Managing your money as a bachelor can be tricky, but it is not impossible. Money management can be intimidating, especially when you are just starting out. It is hard to know where to start and even harder to know what tools are needed to make it work.
But there are plenty of ways to manage your money on your own even if those ways are a bit unconventional.
Money Management Tips For Bachelors
Have A Budget
The first step to managing your money as a bachelor is having a budget. Without one, you could be spending more than you think and end up in debt.
A budget will help you stay on track by showing you exactly where all of your money is going so that if there are any excess funds at the end of each month, they can go toward savings or paying down debt.
To create a budget:
Make a list of all your income for the month (including anything from your job or part-time work). Then make a list of all of your expenses—this includes rent/mortgage payments, utilities, food shopping and eating out at restaurants.
Create two columns: one for income and one for expenses (along with other categories if desired). Add up both columns then subtract total monthly expense amounts from total monthly income amounts to get an idea about how much extra cash is left over at the end of each month that could go toward savings or paying down debt.
Eat At Home
It is hard to get it all right, but if you can cut down on the restaurants and eat more at home, it will be a great start. If you are eating out, make sure you are only going to places where the food is very affordable.
Buy Generic Groceries
Do you know how the phrase “buy generic” always seems to be a punchline? Well, it is true—buying generic brands of groceries is often much cheaper than name-brand ones. Don’t be fooled by those big ads for a product with an actor who looks like he or she is having fun being associated with the product, because chances are he isn’t.
Even if you think that Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are too expensive for your bachelor budget, consider buying some bulk items there—like cereal and pasta. It will save you money in the long run and keep your pantry stocked with more than just ramen noodles.
Plus, there are all kinds of bargains at warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club (but not Walmart). Just don’t let yourself fall into an impulse-buying trap while perusing through those endless aisles.
You should also avoid eating out as much as possible (unless it’s lunchtime) because restaurants tend to charge more than grocery stores do for their food items—and when dining out becomes a habit rather than something special once in a while, then it can really add up fast.
Instead of going through drive-thrus or sitting down at an actual restaurant table with waiters walking around asking whether everything tastes okay or not (which isn’t always easy for bachelors), just stay home where there are no distractions from finishing up that chapter before bedtime.
Pay Yourself First
If you are self-employed, it is crucial to pay yourself first. It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you don’t keep enough of it for yourself.
If you have a job and can set aside some of your paychecks before taxes are taken out, that’s even better. If not, consider putting part of each paycheck into an IRA or 401(k) account before paying bills or buying groceries. You might even find that setting up automatic deposits makes things easier on payday.
In addition to saving for retirement, there are many other reasons why men should put their money in secure places.
Avoid Impulse Buying And Learn To Say No
It is easy to go on a spending spree when you are in the mood, but it is important to avoid impulse purchases and learn to say no.
In general, don’t buy things you don’t need and don’t buy things you can’t afford. If you are going out with friends, think twice before ordering the most expensive thing on the menu or splurging on an expensive drink.
Finally, if someone offers to buy something for you (such as drinks), ask yourself whether or not this person would have been willing to do so if they knew how much money was in your bank account at that moment. If not, thank them graciously for their offer but remind them that there are other ways for them both to enjoy themselves without breaking the bank.
Don’t Try And Keep Up With The Joneses
It is true that the Joneses have a nicer car, apartment and wardrobe than you do. But there is no need to feel bad about that or try to keep up with their spending habits.
The truth is, everyone has expenses—some of which are unavoidable like rent and utilities—and these things tend to come out of your paycheck before you can even think about saving for something else (or saving at all).
So what does it matter if the Joneses don’t have student loans? They probably also don’t have any savings for retirement or emergencies either.
Here is what you need to remember: Don’t be afraid of not having as much money as someone else does; because if they are spending more than they earn while living above their means, they won’t be able to retire when they want (if ever), and will likely struggle more than those who make smart financial decisions.
Managing your money as a bachelor can be hard. In summary, here are some tips to help you stay afloat:
- Don’t get into debt. If you have credit card debt, work to pay it off as quickly as possible. You don’t want to pay interest on something that you could otherwise use toward something more important, like saving for retirement or buying groceries for your dog.
- Don’t waste money on things you don’t need. If there is something that looks too good to be true, it probably is. For example, smoothies from the frozen food section of the grocery store might look tempting (and they do taste great), but they cost much more than making them yourself at home would cost per serving and will usually last longer than if they were made at home in any case. Be smart with your money.
- Understand your spending habits. Know what type of spending habits work best for you and what types don’t. Maybe you are a big spender when it comes to eating out, but not so much when it comes to clothes or entertainment. That’s okay.
- Create a budget. This is where all those spending habits come into play. Create realistic budgets for each area of your life and then stick with them.
- Pay attention. Keep track of how much money comes in every month (or week), as well as how much goes out so that you know at all times how much money is available for each area of your spending habit/budget.
With these few tips, I hope managing your money as a bachelor will no longer be too difficult.