#ThankfulTuesdays: 3 Money Truths I Am Thanful For

#ThankfulTuesdays: 3 Money Truths I Am Thanful For

It is a wonderful Tuesday morning in Johannesburg. The sun is out, birds are chirping, and I am feeling pretty excited about tackling the rest of the week. Although the pressures of school, work, and life beat down on us from time to time, there is a lot to be grateful for.

Photo by Justyn Warner on Unsplash

3 Money Truths I'm Thankful For

Here are "3 Money Truths I Am Thankful For."

1. You Need to Budget

Photo by Justyn Warner on Unsplash

This goes without saying, but there are some people who do not believe they should budget. To them, "money comes and goes." Unfortunately, not having a purpose for your money can and often does result in not using it correctly or just spending it all.

A budget simply tells one where their money comes from (income) and what it should be spent on (expenses). The following items usually feature on a household budget.
  • Income
  • Housing Costs (mortgage, maintenance, and repairs, etc)
  • Emergency Fund
  • Savings (cash savings and investments)
  • Utilities
  • Healthcare
  • Consumer Debt
  • Food and Groceries

If you are a student, your budget will probably feature these items:

  • Income (allowances from bursaries or your parents)
  • Food and Groceries
  • Transport (Taxis, Uber, Gautrain, etc)
  • Petrol (if you drive a car)
  • Entertainment (includes money for eating out)
  • Savings (cash savings and investments)
  • Consumer Debt 
Try to spend less when it comes to your budget. When your expenses are more than your income, you are over budget. When your expenses are less than your income, you are within your budget. 

Budgeting has taught me how to be purposeful with my money. There were times when I felt overwhelmed by compiling my budget, but it is now liberating to know what I am doing with my money. I always "feel" like I have more money simply because I can account for it.

2. Settle Your Debts as Soon as Practicable

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Studies have shown that paying off debt may reduce your stress and psychological well-being. It follows that not paying off debt and accumulating more can increase your stress levels and have a negative effect on your psychological well-being.

In addition to the emotional and mental effects above, there are financial costs to not settling your debts on time. Increased interest expense and an impaired credit score are the effects of not paying your debts on time. The interest rate on debt, particularly consumer debt, is usually more than the interest banks offer on savings accounts. That is why it is sometimes recommended to focus on aggressively paying off debt first and saving some money,

I have learned that settling my debts as soon as practicable has made me feel unrestrained and have more options when it comes to how I spend my money. Assess your financial situation and see if you can put more money towards settling your debts. The more you get rid of debt, the more options you have.

3. You Need to Save Money (Read "Save and Invest" Money) 

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"Save me today, and I'll save you tomorrow" is a quote repeated so many times in the personal finance community. I am sure everyone knows it by heart!

This is my favourite money truth because I have seen it play out in my life. From having to pay for an unexpected expense to be able to pay for more expensive (yet convenient) transportation, saving money has always proven to be worth it.

You may need to pay for repairs for your car or pay for extra lessons for your child that is struggling with a particular subject. Having money saved for emergencies (and not having to rely on debt) will give you immense peace of mind. You may have to spend hundreds and/or thousands on these, but it will be better to spend cash on these necessities than acquiring debt (and possibly adding more debt to the one you have).

Your car will be fixed, and you will be able to get to work to make money.

Your child will improve their marks and have better self-esteem.

Having money saved in case of emergencies puts you in a better position than had you not saved the money. You and your family will be thankful.

If you are a student and need money to buy airtime and data or to print lecture handouts at the library — money will always save you. Literally. Staying late on campus and you do not have a ride home? Having money saved up will give you the option of using the Gautrain (if you are based in Gauteng) and/or taking an Uber home. It is a lot safer to use these services as opposed to taking a taxi home at night.

Final Thoughts on Money Truths I'm Thankful For

Money has saved me many times because I chose to save it first. Choose to save money today, so it will save you tomorrow.

eishstudentbudget was started in 2015 by a South African university student who is passionate about saving and making money. #eishstudentbudget is a personal finance blog that educates university students on their finances. Take the 'eish' out of student finances!

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