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Money Management Tips


Do YOU know what you have?

Before you can relax, you need to know what your objectives are. Start money management by taking stock of your money. You'll probably be surprised at how rich you really are!


As well as the cash in your pocket or purse, include piggy bank cash and bank balances.


Go on a treasure hunt to find lost money. Look in coat and trouser pockets, through birthday and other greeting cards, jewelry boxes, dresser drawers, under furniture cushions, behind and under furniture, in your freezer, and under your mattress!


Although our money is an asset and all of our assets are types of our money, generally we're more inclined to think of assets as property.

However although all of our possessions are parts of our wealth that we can turn into cash, usually we want to protect these possessions from creditors. For instance, you probably don't want to sell your car or cash in a valuable coin collection to pay a bill. Yet, the ability to convert property to cash is a good concept to remember in identifying and effectively managing your money.


Some assets like vehicles and appliances depreciate (decrease in value) over time. Yet, while they don't increase spending power, you can turn them into cash.


Long-term assets like real estate holdings, investments (stocks, bonds, etc), and personal property such as collections, artworks, and antiques appreciate (increase in value) over time and actually enable us to save money and increase our wealth.



Track your income:

Really track your income! If you have at least a month's worth of old check stubs, add them up and divide them to see what your average income is. Better yet, if you can add them for a quarter year and divide by 13 (number of weeks in a quarter) you'll get a more accurate view of your earning power. If you haven't saved check stubs, do it for at least four weeks. Don't just add your weekly wage times four. You'll be forgetting sick days, flat-tire days, and omitting extra income from overtime and holidays.


Track your spending:

Once you know what money you have now and what income you can expect to get, it's time to find out where your money goes. Take a month and track your spending down to the penny.

Record everything! In addition to tracking the cash you spend, record every bill payment, check, debit, and credit card expenditure. Include the amount you paid, who you paid (or where you shopped), and the date you made the purchase.

After a couple of weeks, you'll find yourself reconsidering if you really need that pack of gum or mid-morning cafe latte. This money management exercise is designed to show you how you usually spend your money so it's important during this month not to deny yourself your usual pleasures, no matter how trivial they are.


Setting a realistic goal, knowing what you have, what you expect to earn, and tracking your spending are the basics of money management that enable you to control your money and make wise budgeting choices in the future.

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