The importance of financial literacy
Make your income last so you don’t have to struggle while you wait for your next pay check

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Finance Management isn’t a compulsory subject taught in schools compared to regular subjects such as Mathematics or English. That doesn’t mean, however, that it isn’t an essential life skill to learn. You may have just landed a new job and don’t know how to exactly manage your income. Now, “personal finance” is too often a term that sounds intimidating to most people which causes them to avoid it and this can lead to bad financial decisions.

You don’t need to worry though, we’ve got you covered. Learning the basics of personal finance such as knowing how much you earn and how much you spend can help prevent you from living pay check to pay check. You’ll also be assured that you’ll have enough savings for emergencies, events and necessary expenses such as car insurance and road tax payments.

Set a budget

One of the first things that most people will advise you to do when it comes to personal finance is to start a budget. Starting a budget and sticking to it prevents you from spending beyond your means. Budgeting approaches you can consider include: 

1. The envelope system
This approach involves physically portioning out your monthly income into separate envelopes allocated towards different spending categories. For example every time you buy groceries, you must pay with the money in the ‘groceries’ envelope and only that envelope.

2. The 50/30/20 rule
This is a simple approach where you divide your income into three categories: 50% for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for saving.

Be realistic

You’ll want to actively track how much you spend on a daily basis. It’s important for you to write down what you actually spent and not what you wished you had spent. Categorise your purchases in a way that’s easy for you to understand. You can simply list out your expenses into categories such as household bills (electricity/ water/ phone), groceries, eating out, gas, medical/emergency, miscellaneous and savings. Be sure to include all your bills and subscriptions into your list of expenses so you can clearly see if there’s anything you can live without or if it can be substituted with a cheaper alternative.

It is easy to fall into the trap of living beyond your means and more of ten that not, it leads to unmanageable debts. Living within your means may include getting a more affordable house or car in the meantime, while you save up for that dream Audi as you’ve had your eye on. Most money problems can be avoided simply by spending based on your income.


Once you have a record of how much you make and how much you spend, you’ll need to set up a system that allows you to save successfully each month. You could automatically deposit part of your salary into your savings account. Once you’ve determined your budget, you’ll know how much you can allocate to your monthly savings.

Now that you’ve learnt the basics of managing your income, make the choice to start financial planning. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and take it one step at a time. It will take a bit of time and effort but remember that you can absolutely manage your finances effectively.

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