Once you’ve created a monthly budget that works for you, you may be wondering how best to manage your money like the boss that you are. Keeping more of your money, making smart spending decisions, and staying on top of your expenses can be challenging without the right tools.
Glinda Bridgeforth, in her book Girl, Get Your Credit Straight, recounts, “I think Alfred Edmond from Black Enterprise said it best. He suggests you ask yourself, “Am I using money to buy things or accomplish things?” Buying things refers to purchases like a new car or plasma television. Accomplishing things means spending money on opportunities that move you forward—like homeownership or an education.”
The following resources will keep you in control of your finances rather than letting your finances control you. Here are 20 ways to manage your money like a boss.
10 Tips to Help You Manage Your Money
Check out these easy tips on how to help grow your money and manage your money fast.
Creating a Spending Plan
Much like a budget, a spending plan helps you figure out how much money is coming into your household and how much is going out. Knowing where your money goes is the first key step in managing your money like a boss. It’s easy to overspend and miss out on opportunities for consolidating debt and eliminating some spending. Having your finances all laid out in front of you is a great start.
Pay Yourself First and Build Your Savings
Having money aside for a rainy day or an emergency is simply a boss-move. Life happens and it’s helpful to know that you always have funds squirreled away if you ever need them. Many experts suggest saving 10% of your income and while that is a good guideline to follow, ultimately saving as much as you can, when you can is key.
Get Invested like a Boss
You can begin growing the money you do have a little bit at a time. Apps like Betterment allow you to set up recurring investments. The app requires no minimum balance. Simply link to your bank account and send money into your investment portfolio. You can invest on your own terms. It’s a great starter investment kit for those wanting to tip their toes into investing.
Don’t Ignore Your Retirement
Now is the time to familiarize yourself with all of your retirement options. Managing your money like a boss means planning for retirement to ensure you’re taken care of in later years. The easiest way to get started right now is to set up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). An IRA lets you contribute up to $6,000 if you’re under the age of 50 and is a great head-start for those just starting their retirement planning. For more information on better options for your particular needs, a financial advisor can help you determine what the best course of action is.
Manage that Tax Refund Money Like a Boss
First off, if you find yourself receiving large tax refunds year after year, chances are you’re having too much money withheld from your paycheck each pay period. Check your documents and reach out to your employer to change your withholding if that’s the case.
The money you’re receiving at the end of tax season is essentially the money that you could have had throughout the year in smaller increments. If you receive hefty refunds at tax time, consider using that tax refund wisely, pay down debt, invest or contribute to your retirement. As Alfred Edmond said, use your money to accomplish things rather than buy things.
Ask for that Raise
In a Wells Fargo study, it was found that millennial women earned $20K less than their male counterparts each year. Men are simply making more money than women in the workforce. In the state of Massachusetts, a groundbreaking law went into effect in 2018. “Employers cannot pay workers a salary or wage less than what they pay employees of a different gender for comparable work,” the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act, states. Do some digging to see what your state is doing to address these concerns and then begin planning how to ask your employer for a raise.
Look for Ways to Bring in More Money
I know what you’re thinking, you’re already stretched to the limit, how could you possibly bring in more money? If you’re looking to manage your money like a boss, chances are you probably want to know how to actually make more of it. There are ways, even if you already have a job that takes up most of your time.
Consider freelancing, pet sitting, tutoring, or facilitating online classes. You can also start a YouTube channel or blog and begin working toward a passive income from home. Consider your passions, figure out what you enjoy doing, and think outside the box as to how you can bring more money into your household.
Don’t Forget About Insurance
We just never know sometimes, life can throw a wrench into our plans. This is why having adequate insurance is of utmost importance. Not only should you have health and car insurance, that goes without saying, but also consider disability insurance. If something were to happen to you and you’re unable to work, disability insurance will help pick up the slack and keep your finances on the straight and narrow.
Planning for College
If you’re a parent with children who may consider attending college, you’ll want to do what you can to start planning for their college tuition expenses now. There are a wide variety of options to wade through, so it’s important to take into your financial situation, your child’s interest and path and to determine how to manage money like a boss so your child has the best start possible. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a good starting point.
Change Your Mindset About Money
Finally, this tip may seem a little out there for many so if it doesn’t resonate with you, that’s ok. There are plenty of tips you can implement here to help you manage your money like a boss. Often we sabotage ourselves with our thinking. This is true of many things like relationships and health; money matters are no different.
Changing your mindset around money is key. Saving, creating more opportunities for money to flow into your life, and ultimately growing that income will take a thinking shift. When we come from a place of ‘not having enough’ we get back what we put out into the world. Changing our thinking and keeping positive money affirmations at the forefront of our minds, clears the path for out-of-the-box thinking to occur. It is this thinking that will attract more money into your life. Start with “I am” statements and go from there. Start saying, “I am debt-free,” as you send off that monthly credit card payment and build on that.
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10 Resources to Help You Manage Money Like a Boss
We’ve covered the things you can do to help manage your money like a boss, now here are some resources and tools to help you get ahold of your finances.
An online resource for tracking your credit score through TransUnion and Experian. The site alerts you to any changes to your score and updates weekly so you can track your credit and keep an eye out for discrepancies.
Mint is an app that helps you see all of your income in one place and allows you to create budgets and manage your finances in one place. It also offers unlimited credit monitoring without impacting credit score.
Track your credit scores from all three credit bureaus with MyFico. The Fair Isaac Corporation devises these scores to determine creditworthiness and mitigate risk when extending offers of credit. Scores come directly from information within a consumer credit report and reflect scores from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Both of these tools help consumers earn cashback and get discounts on purchases. You can purchase items on your favorite sites and when you have Swagbucks or Rakuten enabled on your browser, you’ll earn points that you can redeem for a variety of gift cards and other items.
When using these types of services, be careful that you’re not purchasing solely to build up points, that defeats the purpose. If you were going to purchase something anyway, then these discounts and cashback offers are worth it, otherwise, you’re just spending money to make a little bit of cash back.
Use these bundles when promoting your content or submit to the bundles to earn additional income. Ultimate Bundles include large collections of digital content at a discount.
Connect your bank account and track exactly where your money goes and use the app to help you save for big goals. This app works in real-time to help you manage your money like a boss with easy, at a glance information about your spending and saving that makes sense.
How many times do you sign up for a monthly service’s free trial and forget to cancel the subscription before the trial period ends? How often do you find yourself forgetting about that monthly clothing subscription until the membership fee hits your bank account?
Stay on top of your monthly deductions like website hosting, gym memberships, and blogging tools with True Bill. Within the app you can change, update, and manage your subscriptions without having to go to the company’s website. It’s a one-stop-shop for managing those little withdrawals that can add up quickly when you’re not paying attention.
Your Online Bank Service
Don’t underestimate online banking to help you manage your money like a boss. The next time you’re checking your account balance online, take some time to see what services and products your bank offers to help you manage your spending. Often there are tracking tools, credit monitoring services, and resources built into the site that offer everything you need, for free.
Much like Mint.com, Yodlee helps you track your finances. You can take advantage of free online budgeting, pay your bills, and transfer funds from one account to the other. The site also works in conjunction with Mint so you can have the best of both worlds.
If you’re not ready to meet with a financial advisor, Albert is a great alternative. This app will keep track of your debt and bank accounts and offers suggestions on how better to allocate your funds. For those not ready to go full-on ‘adulting’ and consult with an advisor, this app is a worthwhile option.
Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments and popular TED Talk speaker, says, “If you understand how money can work for and against you, you can make better decisions. Financial literacy is not about wealth but about understanding money regardless of the amount. It’s about how you treat it and how you maximize opportunities.”
No matter how much money you’re working with, knowing the ins and outs of your finances is key to managing money like a boss.