Managing money can be difficult even for the most financially savvy individuals. Not knowing when to spend, save or invest may be confusing.
According to Jeneen Marziani, Ohio state president of Bank of America in Pepper Pike, finances can be complicated, and managing available funds can be even harder without proper know-how.
“Building financial know-how around topics ranging from saving and budgeting to credit and retirement will help you feel confident in comprehending and making your finances work for you,” she said. “It might sound simple but understanding basic bank services and management can help you make smarter financial decisions.”
Money management comes in many forms, each varying depending on an individual’s situation.
“Money management will look different to everyone,” Marziani explained. “It depends on what your financial goals are and how you want to achieve them. For example, if you want to pay off your student loans quicker, you might be managing your money to put more towards your loan every month. If you want to buy a new car or your first home, you may be shifting a portion of your paycheck to a savings account for your down payment.”
It comes down to understanding the tools one’s bank offers for money management, Marziani noted.
“Most banks have tools for automatic movement of funds,” she said. “If you want to put away $200 per month to your savings, you can have an automatic withdrawal from your checking account put into your savings. That way you don’t have to think about moving the money. It’s already taken care of and you’re one step closer to your goal.”
In terms of managing available funds, Marziani said there are a few things to routinely check.
“In this age of technology and increased use of debit and credit cards, it’s important to routinely check in on your finances,” she said. “While you might just swipe your card and not think about it, making it a goal to go over your finances weekly or even monthly will help you be more financially aware.”
Marziani added people should also keep an eye on monthly commitments and bills.
“Be aware of your different subscriptions and monthly payments,” she said. “Do you still use that fitness app that costs you $10 a month? If you are continually checking your finances, you’ll be aware of the dollars here and there that are going to monthly subscriptions and services that you may not be using anymore.”
Individuals should also set a goal for a weekly budget and keep track of spending.
If you don’t already track your budget, keep a record of one week’s worth of spending to get a picture of where your money is going and places where you may be able to cut back,” Marziani noted. “Set a goal by starting small and then you can increase your savings over time. The key is getting started.”
If an individual is struggling to get a handle on their spending, it’s helpful to look to their bank for help.
“It’s likely that wherever you bank, there are online features to help you reach your financial goals,” Marziani said. “Take time to explore their websites to see what tools are available to you. Better yet, set up a meeting with a representative at your local branch. Explain to them your goals and they will make sure you are aware of the tools to help you achieve your goals. Banks want their clients to have healthy accounts.”