You do not need to be any particular age to be financially mature. You could be a teenager or you could be retired.
Being mature and responsible with your money can make all aspects of your life much easier, and it can reduce a lot of stress. Once you start taking steps to become more mature with your money, you will start to see your entire lifestyle begin to change, and you will never want to go back to living the way you did before.
Here’s how you get there.
Financially responsible people understand that they need to make more than they spend, so they control their spending where necessary. Budgeting is a great way to keep track on your spending so you know where you can cut spending.
If you’re not a paper and pencil type, you can use technology to find where your money is leaking. There are tons of mobile apps to help with budgeting. Download one and you’ll have no excuse to overspend.
Check Money and Bank Accounts Often
Do not avoid looking at your bank account. It won’t make it any better, so just be responsible and keep track of it often. If you avoid checking your account, it not only diminishes motivation, but it also makes it more likely that you will overdraft as a result of unexpected expenses.
Only Pay for Subscriptions You Use
Don’t waste money on a subscription you don’t use often. There is no use wasting that money. It would make more sense to just purchase things individually, whether that is a magazine, makeup, or television.
Subscription services are extremely popular right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good idea financially. You don’t have to subscribe to everything, just prioritize which ones make sense.
Realize How Expenses Add Up
People who are mature with money understand how the little things, like dining out, can add up. While spending $15 daily on lunch might not sound much per day, weekly it adds up to $75 for just weekday lunches. Compare this to $25 weekly for packed lunches, and it seems like a no-brainer to brown bag it.
Be Responsible with Unexpected Money
Financially mature people are also responsible with any unexpected funds they might receive, like a work bonus, birthday money, or a tax return.
Instead of going and blowing it at the mall or on a vacation, responsible people will use it to pay for debt or put it in a savings account.
Avoid “Retail Therapy”
Some people go shopping when they are stressed or upset, but this can be detrimental on your wallet and your credit if you spend more than you can afford. You also make impulse buys and spend money on things you don’t need or might have buyer’s remorse at a later time.
Don’t Wait until the Last Minute to Shop for Gifts
Another mature thing to do is to buy gifts ahead of time. If you see something that is a good price and reminds you of someone, purchase it as a Christmas gift, even if it is March.
This not only saves money because you can be sure everything is priced well and not marked up for Christmas, but you are also purchasing items that really remind you of that person, instead of just trying to find something last minute.
Limit the Amount You Eat Out
We mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: eating out adds up. You can eat at home for less than half the price, and you are gaining a skill by cooking. Also, you have a lot more control over your ingredients and food quality. It’s healthier!
Make the Most out of Your Food
If you do happen to go out to eat, make sure you bring home any leftovers you might have. That is a free meal or snack for you. Also, make sure your food does not spoil. Keep track of the dates so you know when you need to use everything. Also, learn to freeze some of your food.
Think before you Spend
Don’t just blindly spend money. If you are buying something for yourself, wait overnight, and if you still want to purchase it the next day, go ahead.
Only Buy Clothing You Wear Often
Do not purchase clothing that you only see yourself wearing once, to one event. Try to purchase clothing that you can wear to multiple occasions.
Don’t Fall for Sales
Like retail therapy, sales cause impulse spending, and you often purchase things you will not really want in the future. Just because something seems like a bargain, it doesn’t mean you need to have it.
Be Responsible with Your Property and Insurance
Always be responsible when it comes to your property. Do not let anything fall into disrepair. For instance, get your oil changed when you are supposed to. This keeps your vehicle in optimal condition and it will last a lot longer.
Also, keep up with your insurance payments. Medical insurance in particular is important to have and keep up with, since medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US. If you’re not covered and you get hurt, you could ruin your financial future.
Don’t Fall for Schemes
Financially mature people understand that money is earned through hard work, and there is no way to really get rich quickly. If you enjoy playing the lottery, do that, but don’t go overboard with scratch-off tickets or invest in anything that promises to double your money in a week.
You’ll end up feeling burned.
Set Financial Goals
People are most financially successful when they set financial goals. They understand what the outcome will be after they make the sacrificed necessary to pay bills and save money at the same time.
They don’t have to be grandiose, unachievable things. Simple goals like “spend less at cafes” can go a long way if you take them seriously.
Continue Improving no Matter What
Whenever financially mature people make mistakes, they do not allow it to keep them down. They are tenacious and continually improve and learn so that they can overcome hardships.
Financial maturity is the only way to ever be financially secure, which is the main financial goal we should all have. These tips will help you to become more mature when it comes to money, and once you see the results, you will wonder why you ever managed money so poorly before.
All you need is to educate yourself and follow these tips.