Tips for Managing your Money

There are ways to save money by simply managing it. You aren’t necessarily being frugal, you are just wise in your decisions.

Many of us are never taught how to manage our money. Here are some tips that go beyond budgeting:

Start by creating yourself a money jar. Every day, you need to put all of your change and your dollar bills into the jar. You should also put the money you “save” when you are out shopping into the jar. Many of us “save” money, yet we actually never let it build up. We spend it on something else. The next time you don’t buy that $20 item so that you can save money, put the $20 in the jar.

You should save any bonus money that comes your way. I know that this can be hard. I feel that it is okay to spend 10% of your windfalls on you. You deserve it for saving 10% of your income each month. Any money gifts, bonuses, rebates, tax refunds and other surprises should be put into your savings or investment accounts. This extra money can earn more money for you. If you spend it, it won’t make you more money.

The easiest way to save is to have the money automatically withdrawn from your checking account and put into your savings. Many employers will automatically deposit an portion of your paycheck into your investments or 401(k). Take advantage of this. Money you never see is money that you don’t miss.

Your checking registar and account should be balanced at all times. You should always have a good idea of how much money is in your account. If you purposely write bad checks, you could find a warrant out for your arrest. You are facing quite substantial fees for overdrawing your account. With the internet and automated telephone tellers, it is easy to know the balance of your account at all times. I like to balance ours once a week. It takes five to fifteen minutes and everything adds up. If you wait a month or two before you balance, it can take you hours and may never add up.

Try to shop on sale whenever possible. I don’t buy clothes or shoes when they aren’t on sale. It is easy to find sales on items. You just have to shop around a bit.

Shop less frequently. If you don’t go into a store, you won’t spend money there. I try to avoid stores that I know trigger impulse buys. I only go into stores that I have a specific item to purchase. Try to limit your grocery shopping to once a week with a prepared list. You will be amazed at how much you can save by simply shopping from a list.

Invest the time to learn to manage your money. By handling your money wisely and shopping carefully, you can pay off debt and save money for your future. Take the time to learn little ways to save money and watch your finances improve.

Martin Lukac
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