Personal Finance 101: The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Money
February 9, 2021 | Louis Tully
Money management has become a hot topic in recent years. More and more people are trying to take their finances under control and ditch the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. Especially in the recent year, since the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us just how important financial stability is.
Learning about money and how to manage it might seem intimidating at first, but in reality, the basics are quite straightforward.
Your Personal Finance 101 Ultimate Guide
1. Track Your Spending
Knowing where your money is going is a big part of money management. Lifestyle creep is real and if it takes hold, it doesn’t matter how much your income increases – you’ll still be living paycheck to paycheck unless you stop overspending.
So, here’s your first personal finance 101 lesson task. Review your expenses carefully and determine what you:
- Are spending is an appropriate amount of money;
- Could be spending less on;
- Should outright cut.
You can also try to take the no spend challenge and save more by spending less.
2. Start Budgeting
The 2nd chapter of your personal finance 101 is all about budgeting. Budget is the primary money-management tool. When setting it up, you’ll need to separate prospective expenses into 3 categories:
- Needs – the first categories you should budget for. Things that you’ll have to spend a fixed amount no matter what your income is, like rent, utilities, and debt payments.
- Priorities – expenses that are mandatory, but can be adjusted depending on the situation, like gas, groceries, and savings (yes, the go here).
- Wants – expenses that aren’t technically mandatory. You could do without these things (think of takeout, coffee, or subscription services), but you’ll be unhappy if you outright cut them.
3. Be Smart About Your Debt
Now, let’s talk about the most heart-piercing subject with your personal finance 101 guide: debts. If you’re already in debt, do your best to pay it off as quickly as possible. Look into debt consolidation to be able to pay it off more comfortably and with smaller overall interest.
If you’re planning to take on more debt, be smart about it. Figure out the amount of money you can comfortably put towards payments and go from there.
Remember, sometimes debt can be beneficial: a house or a car, for example, are smart purchases even when you go into debt for them – but not if you can’t pay them off (i.e. go for a reliable used car and not a new luxury sports car).
4. An Emergency Fund Should Be Your First Priority
When you start saving it might be tempting to use that money for large purchases or to start investing long-term. This takes us to the next personal finance 101 advice: make an emergency fund your priority.
While both these goals are a good use of your money, your priority should be an emergency fund. The money you’ll be saving should go into high-yield savings account you can easily access in your time of need. After you have at least 3 to 6 months’ expenses saved up – then you can move onto other savings goals.
Related content: Financial Planning 101: Feel In Control In Any Financial Emergency
What Makes an Emergency Fund So Important?
Now, it’s time to talk about the importance of the emergency fund with your personal finance 101 guide. Most financial experts agree that the first thing you should save money for is the emergency fund.
You might not be interested in long-term savings, or you might just want to be able to make larger purchases (like tech, vacations, even a car) without going further into debt. But before you start saving for any particular goal, you should set up an emergency fund.
The emergency fund is what will save you from going into the money hole in the future. The thing is, financial emergencies cannot and shouldn’t be postponed. The reason for that is simple: at best you might end up paying more to fix them, at worst, you’re risking making them unfixable.
Having an emergency fund ready to go means you don’t have to think about how to deal with problems when they hit – you just take that money and deal with it.
If you don’t have a fund, then getting the cash together becomes an issue. If that’s the case, you might want to think about taking out an online title loan.
Why an Online Title Loan?
When you have to deal with a time-sensitive issue and are hard-pressed for money, an online title loan is the easiest solution, since it’s easy and fast. You can get fast cash for your car title with Carolina Title Loans, Inc. even if you are in not the best spot credit wise. As long as you’re over 18, and your car title is in your name, you can apply even if your credit score is bad or outright nonexistent.
What’s more, Carolina Title Loans, Inc. will be accommodating all kinds of income and work with you to come up with a repayment schedule you’ll be comfortable with.
How Do I Apply for an Online Title Loan?
You can easily apply for an online title loan by going to our Carolina Title Loans Home Page and filling out the online form. You’ll be contacted by a store representative who’ll set up a meeting.
To the meeting, you’ll need to bring:
- Your car
- Government-issued ID
- Lien-free title to your car.
The loan representative will assess everything and determine if you qualify for the loan. If you’re approved – you’ll get the cash the same or next bank business day. The entire process takes as little as 30 mins.
Use our personal finance 101 guide to manage your money and ensure your own financial security. In emergency situations, let Carolina Title Loans, Inc. take care of you by providing secure online title loans.