Since you know that the luck of the Irish does not legendarily extend to money magically appearing to cover your monthly bills, you’re already aware that you must make your own luck. The alternative is to buy lottery tickets and really trust your luck, but that’’ just not a reasonable financial plan. A lucky horseshoe, though a quaint Irish tradition, also will probably not work to sort out your finances. However, there are ways to make your own good luck with your money. Here are a few major tips from Money 4 You for managing your money that can help you feel charmed with the luck of the Irish.
Create a budget and follow it every month
If you’re struggling to keep from running out of money each month, then using a budget is the top priority for getting control of your finances. You might choose to use an envelope budget system to allocate money for monthly bills, daily expenses, recreation, etc. Or, you may find the Warren 50/30/20 plan to allocate funds for needs, wants, and savings works best for you. You can use any of the dozens of other popular budget plans. Or, you can create your own custom budget to fit your needs ideally.
Your budget should account for all your loan payments, insurance, utilities, food, transportation, and other expenses you need to cover during each income cycle. The key is to make sure your budget limits your spending to less than your income. If necessary, figure out where you can cut some spending.
If you feel that your finances are out of control, looking at the realities revealed by your budget may feel shocking and overwhelming. But there’s help available! Look for ways to repay your debts faster. For example, consider selling something and using the proceeds to pay down one or more of your debts.
Approach your lenders about restructuring your loans to more practical repayment arrangements, or consider a low-interest installment loan to consolidate some of your debts into a single smaller total periodic payment.
Invest your money wisely
Instead of strategizing to buy more lottery tickets to increase your chances of financial success, make better investments with your money. You might not choose to invest in the stock market on your own to make money fast, but you should have payroll deductions going into your employer-sponsored 401k or standard retirement plan if offered. It’s the fastest way for most workers to build big savings.
Many companies match their employees’ 401k contributions. That’s free money for you! And, if you do opt to play the stock market independently, be sure to diversify your investments (see mutual funds) to mitigate your risks and maximize your returns.
Start building some emergency savings
Just when you’re convinced that there’s no such thing as good luck with money, you may discover that somehow bad luck does seem real. When an emergency requiring money arises, like a big urgent car repair, injury, or broken appliance, it can be a tough financial setback. You may need to get an installment loan to help you through such situations. But, if you save a little each month for an emergency, you can help pay for surprise expenses without falling behind in other areas of your budget.
It’s recommended to set your goal to save from 3 to 6 months’ worth of your living costs to cover an emergency. But any small amount can help. Save your emergency funds in a money market fund or high-yield savings account to maximize your annual percentage yield (APY). This is a way to make your money multiply, and that can make you feel very lucky indeed.