Managing your Finances

The basics of managing your personal finances are not incredibly tricky.  It simply requires a small amount of knowledge, some self discipline, and some organization.  The main points of basic financing include budgeting, accounting for money coming in and going out, and staying within the budget you’ve set.

Obviously the number one tip is to stay out of debt when at all possible.  Sometimes things come up and you need to take out a loan or put something on a credit card, but add these into your budgeting and get them paid off as soon as possible.  Some things that people forget to budget for are all of their utilities, their toiletries, cleaning products, clothing, entertainment, and eating out.  Money for eating out should be kept in a separate category than your grocery budget.

When you first start budgeting you’ll probably want to pay for everything with cash.  This is really important for most people, because most people (whether they want to believe it or not) have very little self discipline when it comes to spending.  And especially when you are trying to break old habits, you need to sever yourself from them, and in this case that means hide the debit card and pay with cash.

Managing FinancesBe sure to keep track of everything you spend.  You may want to keep a ledger, like available with your checkbooks.  You may want to try something different, like drawing boxes on a piece of paper and writing each spending category, from your budget, inside the boxes.  Then you simply write down the total form the receipt as you spend in each category.  This allows you to physically see when you have spent all that money.  If you separate your cash into a different envelope for each category you can also easily see when you’ve spend all of the money within that category.

Once you’ve mastered staying within a budget (and hopefully saving was included in that budget) you can start being fancier with your money and investing it.  Some people like to play their cards in the stock market.  If you play the best virtual stock market game you can pick up some trading tips through a simulation of how the stock market works.  This is a good involved way of learning what is going on and how it works, even if you have investors that trade your stock for you.

If you’re interested in saving money and learning how to manage your finances then start with these very simple ideas, create a savings account, and learn how to trade in the stock market.

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