Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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How Better Time Management Can Improve Your Finances

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Time is money,” but do we really believe this? Do we behave this way? If you’re having financial trouble, consider whether your time management may be, at least partially, to blame. Mismanaging your time can impact your money in ways that aren’t immediately obvious.

Do You Spend Enough Time on Your Finances?

Being a poor manager of time, you may not set aside enough time to pay attention to your money. For example, do you take time to create and review your budget each month? And if you budget, do you take time to review your spending, ensuring you stuck to your budget? If you’re constantly busy with other things, it can be tough to carve out the time it takes to actively manage your finances.

You don't have to start from scratch with your budget each month. That would be a poor use of time. Instead, start with a template, either electronic or paper, and update it monthly as necessary.

It’s not just your budget you have to pay attention to. You should also take time to read the monthly or quarterly statements from all your financial accounts. These statements can serve as a barometer for your financial health, but if you don’t read them you won’t know where you stand.

Are You Managing Time Well At Work?

Time management is crucial to your job performance and absolutely necessary if you want to keep your job. If you’re continually wasting time and being unproductive, you may be terminated. Obviously, losing your job won’t bode well for your finances.

Not only is time management is important for keeping your job, it’s vital for career advancement. Your manager needs to see you doing well in your current position before giving you a promotion, raise, or bonus. In a nutshell, if you want to make more money, to save more or pay off debt, managing your time on your job is important.

If you are a professional who bills by the hour, managing your time directly impacts your bottom line. It’s critical to spend your working hours on billable client work rather than administrative tasks for which you are not paid directly. The administrative work needs to get done. However, don't let it take up your best working hours.

Use Your Time To Make Good Spending Decisions

It takes time to make good decisions, even spending decisions. If you’re rushed in the grocery store, it’s not very likely that you’ll take the time to shop based on a list. Or, if you’re in a rush to get car repairs done, you may not check to see whether you can save money by going with another mechanic. Take time to prepare your meals at home and you can save money on meals (vs. eating out all the time). It’s a good habit to check your budget before making spending decisions, but if you don’t take time to do this, you could end up with a purchase you can’t afford.

Get Better at Time Management

One of the best ways to manage your time is to plan your daily activities. Use a planner or calendaring system to jot down what you want or need to accomplish in the upcoming days. Some systems let you plan all the way down to 15-minute increments or lower.

Make sure you give yourself enough time for each task. If you find that you haven’t given yourself enough time for a recurring task, alter your schedule for the future. At the same time, be sure that you're not trying to fit too many tasks in a single day. Some things may just have to wait until another day.

Work hard to fight distractions. They're are all around us: email, internet, social media, people. Effective time management requires you to manage these distractions. Giving in will kill your schedule and your productivity.

There are many books and blogs on time management. Check out your library or do an internet search for more resources to help you out in this area.
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Wednesday, 21 August 2019

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