When I started my work-at-home journey, what I really wanted was to be an at-home mom, but we couldn’t afford it. We weren’t very good money managers, so in order to be home, I had to make money. I’m still not the best money manager in the world, but I’ve learned that paying attention to money, both my personal and business finances, is crucial. Money management can help you stay on top of your bills and save each year. You can use these extra savings to pay off any debts, grow your pension, start a business, or spend them on your next car or holiday. Here are a few great tips from the experts everyone should read:
Alexa von Tobel, a certified financial planner and founder/CEO of LearnVest.com.
Live by a budget. Having a budget is a critical first step. It’s the framework that keeps your whole money situation in place. I love the 50/20/30 budgeting method: 50 percent of your take-home pay (your paycheck after taxes) goes toward your essentials (rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation), 20 percent goes to the future (paying down debt, saving for emergencies and retirement), and the rest — a whole 30 percent — goes to your lifestyle (eating out, vacations, shopping, etc.),”
John Gower Analyst for NerdWallet
Comparison shop when it comes to choosing a primary financial institution. It’s a very basic concept, but one that many people fail to grasp. The big banks are often the default choice, yet smaller and institutions like community banks and credit unions are considerably overlooked.
Blain Reinkensmeyer Principal at Reink Media Group
Cut your losses short. The ‘it’ll come back’ mentality is dangerous. One great way to do this is through the use of stop loss orders. Don’t fear them. Use them. They are your best friend.
Dan Sugar Instructor at Online Trading Academy
Be patient and wait for the high probability/low risk trades. They are out there. Be like a predator/lion waiting in the brush and then pounce. You’ll eat for a week.
Tom Brakke, TJB Research
Concentrate more on saving than investing. It’s a lot easier to save your way into a secure future than to invest your way there.
Both are important, but thrift trumps faith (in investment returns) as a foundation for your plans.
David Houle Co-Founder and Portfolio Manager at Season Investments
One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is investing based on emotion rather than a disciplined, systematic process. In particular, I think people need a disciplined plan for risk management as mitigating large draw-downs in your investment portfolio has the potential to add more value over time than maximizing every ounce of upside in the bull markets.
Tips from Leslie
The above experts offer great ideas. Because I’m not money savvy, my tricks have been to use automation whenever possible. So I autopay many of my bills (now they aren’t late), and online payments (through my bank or the company’s website) so I don’t have to write and mail checks. We also had automatic payments into my kids’ college funds, again so I didn’t have to remember and it was added to each month. Automatic and online payments save me time and hassle. I do use coupons and shop for deals, although I’m an extreme saver in that respect.
Finally, be sure to run the numbers on your expenses and income. When I first came home, I had run the numbers and learned that my job took up a significant chunk of my paycheck, even though lived close to work. Instead of replacing my salary to stay home, I only had to earn a few hundred dollars. Here’s a post where I outline how much my work cost and how I was able to afford to work at home.