Money Management, also known as sound financial planning, shouldn't be something you do only once a month. Start making it a part of your everyday life with some of these tips:
have a "spend-nothing-at-all-not-even-on-parking" day
For most, this will be a creative exercise, as it's easy to get used to spending money in order to have fun. But it's really not necessary. You can still go window-shopping; just choose the free outside parking over the convenient and over-priced indoor parking. Go for a walk instead of going to see a movie. And invite friends over for lunch instead of dining out at your favourite restaurant. Try to get a week in every month in which you don't spend any money. It may sound impossible, but you'd be surprised at what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it (but not your money).
pack a lunch
Sit down with a pen and paper. Work out (you need only estimate, and your estimate will probably be less than the real amount) how much you spend on lunch every day. You'll probably be appalled at the amount of money you spend, for which you have nothing to show but a full belly and maybe a few extra kilos. Convenience food isn't good for your body or your waistline. Make a pact with yourself to start 'spending healthily', as well as eating healthily.
It's a mission, but it'll save you money. When it comes to relatively big purchases like household appliances, always go to at least 5 stores before you settle on your purchase. You'd be surprised at the price differences, which stores pile on because they count on lazy consumers who would rather buy immediately than look for the best deal. The same applies to clothing - factory stores can drive you mad, but you'll be a lot happier at the end of the month.
sell stuff you're not using
Anything from clothes to household items, which after buying, you figure out you don't really need. If it's in good condition, there'll probably be someone willing to pay money for it. And that money goes back in your pocket - if you're smart, it'll go straight into your savings account. It'll also do wonders for your state of mind.
put a limit on your cell phone contract
All service providers should offer you the option of a limit, and if they don't, it's worth changing. While you may think this heralds the end of your social life, a sensible way to work it would be to set a limit, which you then top up with prepaid airtime. You'd be surprised at how you'll cut down on unnecessary time and text messages when using your phone. It'll force you to think of your phone as a practical tool, rather than a mobile social club.
Make sure you know exactly what you're paying for on your monthly premiums. By taking away a benefit that may be unnecessary, such as a courtesy car if yours needs repairs, you can bring your premiums down quite drastically. Some insurance companies allow you to change your excess on your car insurance, so if you know you're going to be away for a month and your car is securely locked up, you can always put your excess up, which will bring your premium down for that month. Don't simply accept what insurance companies offer you - it's worth questioning them every step of the way.