- Avoid spending money without knowing your financial situation.
Don’t close your eyes to your financial situation. To make good financial decisions, it is not enough to follow some vague rules of thumb. So take the necessary time to thoroughly assess your financial situation: what is your income, both the certain (e.g. salary) and the uncertain (e.g. pocket money, money that you receive as a gift on your birthday or during holidays or money you earn if you do some weekend work now and then)? How big are your fixed costs (eg house rent, electricity bill, telephone costs, …) and with which variable costs (eg going out, clothing, supermarket, …) do you have to deal with?Here are 10 tips to manage your money.
Make sure you have a good view of your entire assets, including ALL your income and ALL your expenses (and therefore also the expenses that you only have to pay once a year, e.g. the home’s fire insurance or the settlement of the tax authorities). To make an overview of your income and expenditure, you can use a budget planner. Also make sure that the documents regarding your finances (invoices, receipts, account statements, insurance contracts) are well organized and always keep this “paperwork” in order.
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- Investigate which expenses you can save on and appeal to premiums / social rights.
After you have mapped out your financial situation, you can make some adjustments if necessary. Decide on which things you certainly do not want to or cannot save, and then save on expenses that are less important to you. Some expenditures can be completely scrapped, for other expenditures you can look for cheaper solutions (see eg vreg.be for advantageous energy contracts or best tariff.be for the cheapest telecom contracts tailored to your needs). It might also be interesting to plan some new expenses (see tip 4 below). Also make sure you use the premiums you are entitled to. After all, this can ensure that certain revenues increase and / or that certain expenditures fall (see, for example, rightsverkenner.be ).
- Be prepared for unforeseen and large expenses.
If possible, make sure you have a piggy bank for unexpected expenses (e.g. your washing machine or your car is broken) and for major purchases you will make in the future. You can build up this piggy bank by setting aside an amount every month. Include this amount in your budget plan. Also inform yourself thoroughly about the various savings options at the bank and choose the product that is most suitable for you. You can take out insurance for a number of possible setbacks (eg hospitalization insurance if you fall ill, for example). For large expenses, the purchase of a second-hand good can be advantageous: you don’t have to use up your entire piggy bank!
- Think long (er) term. Do not save on important expenses (eg hospitalization insurance, family insurance, retirement savings) that seem unnecessary in the short term but can still be of great use at some point.
Also keep in mind that your financial situation can change radically if you or your partner becomes unemployed or long-term sick if you have children if you move in together or get married if your relationship fails, as you get older and more medical and/or health care expenses … Even if you are still young, it is never too early to map out your pension prospects and adjust them if necessary. When making (large) purchases, you should also keep in mind that some products are more durable and / or involve less maintenance costs (they may also be slightly more expensive).
- Be sensible when using credit (cards).
Credit can be useful, but make sure that the payment is within your budget! Definitely also think in the long term. For example, take into account possible future setbacks: make sure that you still have a buffer in case you suddenly have to make unexpected payments in addition to paying off the credit. For some purchases, it is in any case cheaper to save first and only make the purchase afterwards. Borrowing money is in most cases very expensive. Be extra careful when using credit cards: “plastic money” carries the risk of spending more than you realize and interest can be high. So only use credit cards if there is no other option.
- Avoid impulse buying and be alert to temptation.
Long (er) term thinking also requires that you don’t get carried away when a salesperson is accosting you on the street or at the door. An “irresistible offer” on the internet or in the supermarket may also be less interesting than it might seem at first sight. If you buy something in an emotional mood, there is a high risk that you will forget to carefully weigh the financial consequences or that you will buy something that you do not actually want or need. And if you go shopping in the supermarket, it is best to bring a shopping list and do not leave with an empty stomach. If you have given in to a spur of the moment, you sometimes have the right to cancel the purchase, but this must be done very quickly. In concrete terms, you can, for example, cancel an online purchase or a purchase via a door-to-door seller within 14 days. This does not apply to purchases in stores, but sometimes the store itself allows to return purchased goods. To no longer be tempted by telephone sellers or to no longer receive tempting advertisements by post, you can follow the tips of the Privacy Commission: seeprivacycommission.be . Impulse purchases.
- Don’t sign anything.
Commercials and sellers mainly point to the benefits of a purchase and much less to all the obligations that rest on the buyer. However, the fine print in contracts can contain big and especially unpleasant (financial) surprises. So pay close attention to the “details” that are mentioned in garish advertising messages and never sign anything before you have read this thoroughly. If you don’t understand something, don’t hesitate to ask for an oral explanation. Always request the general terms and conditions, also read them and request a copy for yourself. You can also take the documents home with you and only after reading them quietly decide in your seat whether or not you sign them.
- Don’t make new debts to pay off old debts.
Taking out new loans to pay off old debts is not a solution. Waiting to take steps yourself or seeking help when you are facing financial problems is certainly not a good idea. So here you may try some alternative ways like canada online casino. It helps you to earn cash online just by playing.
- Don’t wait until the bailiff is at the door.
If you have financial problems, you can initially contact the creditor or the debt collector (debt collection agency/bailiff) to request a payment extension or a lower monthly repayment (spread over a longer period). If you do not agree with a debt and / or if you cannot solve your problems on your own, it is best to seek help as soon as possible. This way you can avoid being dragged into a negative spiral of debt burden. See eg Eerstehulpbijschulden.be for addresses of recognized debt mediation institutions and for contact details of mediation bodies such as the Economic Inspectorate and the Telecommunications Ombudsman Service. Self-employed with debt problems can contact dyzo.be .
- Learned young …
You are never too young to learn how to handle your money. As a child, you can learn from your parents how and why you should have a piggy bank. You can learn to make your own choices about how to spend your pocket money and try to make ends meet with that money until you get your pocket money back. It is important that you can talk about money with your parents and friends: what do you spend on clothes, what is important to you, how much do you try to save per month, … these are all things you can exchange experiences and tips about give to each other.
If you want more tips and conversations about everything money-related, be sure to continue on this website!