Getting the most use out of your money is the cornerstone of financial maturity. To become financially mature you need to make some tough decisions and make your money last. The good news is that you can learn how to be better with money at any age and improve your current situation. Take a look below at some simple ways you can become more financially mature:

Limit your spending to less than your income.

Most Americans spend more money every month than they make. It is a sure way to rack up a hefty credit card bill that gets compounds with high interest rates. Avoid this altogether by limiting your spending. If you have trouble sticking to a budget, switch to paying only with cash. When the cash runs out, you have to stop spending. 

12 Ways To Be More Mature With Your Finances

Stay on top of finances through the month.

Know where you stand with credit card bills and other types of monthly expenses throughout the month. You can avoid any surprises if you stop waiting until the end of the month to check your balances. Being financial mature requires knowing where you stand at all times. If you don’t stay on top of your spending, you’ll find yourself scrambling to repair your credit. Either way, it’s going to cost you. 

Pay attention to minor expenses.

The things that you might consider small matters that only cost a few extra dollars are adding up. Finding ways to cut some of your minor expenses can actually be a major help in becoming financially mature. Conserving energy is an easy starting point, but also look at what you consume. Do you use something disposable when you can switch to something reusable?

Use “surprise money” wisely.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend your tax refund, bonus from work or birthday cash on something to spoil yourself. People who are financially mature take advantage of these extra funds by putting them into a savings account or paying off some debt.

Outline clear financial goals 

Simply saying that you want to be more mature with your finances is a great first step, but not a true financial goal. You need to know where you are going so you can come up with a direct path to get there. Though it may take time to reach, a clear goal will keep you focused on reclaiming your finances — whether it’s to pay off your debt by a certain date or have three months of salary in savings.

Move forward and recover from past mistakes.

Most people want to become better at managing their money after they have run into some trouble with their current situation. Whatever the reason is for becoming more mature, you need to start now and learn from your mistakes. Don’t let them hold you back or ignore them. You have the opportunity to take care of them now and be better.

Don’t fall for an “unbelievable” opportunity.

Building wealth takes a lot of time, hard work and discipline. You can’t turn things around at a ‘business opportunity’ seminar over the weekend. What you can do is make the difficult decisions and small sacrifices required to become financially mature.

Protect yourself with insurance.

Insuring what’s most important to you, especially your health, is a clear sign of financial maturity. Too many Americans fail to take care of their health and without the proper insurance, a trip to the emergency room can mean financial hardship. Injuries or sickness can be devastating for your career, even if you’re able to go on disability. They can narrow your long-term goals, and put a huge burden on your relationships. Take care of your health. It’s probably your most valuable asset.

Ask the price of any purchase.

Many salespeople count on the fact that you might be too embarrassed to ask the price and imply that you might not have the money to buy something. Financially mature people know the price of anything they consider purchasing because they want to consider whether or not its a good deal or if they can buy it cheaper elsewhere. Be upfront right away and ask the price. 

Carefully consider every purchase

Regardless of the price tag, think carefully before you make a purchase. Ask yourself whether or not you truly want the item. If you’re buying sneakers or clothes especially, shop around at smaller retailers. Often, these stores will have lower prices than the big boys to attract new customers. Also, don’t just buy anything. Waiting until you find the right item before making a purchase is not only a sign of financial maturity, but how you end up with a house full of nice things that you actually use and enjoy.

Dine at home more often

Dining out almost every night has its benefits, but all of the convenience comes at quite a high cost. It is estimated that a meal in a restaurant costs twice as much as cooking the same meal at home. Take advantage of a cooking class if need be, but even eating at home one or two meals a week more than usual can save you money.

Shop for gifts with time to spare.

Take a look at your calendar over the next couple of months and start planning now for any gifts you might need to buy. Shopping ahead of time allows you to spend your money wisely and avoid overpaying at the last minute. Consider purchasing gifts that would make great presents for a number of different scenarios and having them on hand for all occasions.