Thursday, January 25, 2007

10 Tips for Better Money Management

  1. See where you’re spending. Start your plan by writing down where you spend every dollar over the next month. You may be surprised at what you’re spending money on – and how much you’re spending on certain things.

  2. Make a budget. Once you know what you’re spending and where, create a written budget and stick to it. It’s the most effective way to stay within your means and curb bad spending habits. Be sure to review your expenses against your budget monthly.

  3. Stick to your budget. A budget won’t do you any good if you don’t follow it religiously. Build some self-discipline, and remember why you’re on a budget in the first place.

  4. Reduce what you owe. The more debt you can pay off, the less interest you will have to pay, and the more you can funnel into savings and investments for the future.

  5. Start saving. A savings plan helps meet financial goals and provides security. Set aside a percentage of your monthly income as savings. Ten percent is a good target if you’re in your 20s or 30s, more if you’re older and behind in your retirement planning. Make it the first “bill” you pay by setting up an automatic investment.

  6. Plan for retirement. Contribute to an IRA or participate in your company’s 401k plan. The yearly maximum you can contribute to these tax-advantaged plans changes, so check with your accountant or company plan coordinator.

  7. Pay with cash. It’s one of the surest ways to stay out of debt.

  8. Get paid back. Your money is doing you no good in someone else’s pocket. Keep this in mind the next time you need to collect your roommate’s share of the gas bill or that $20 you lent to a friend.

  9. Protect yourself from identify theft. Receive an early warning of potentially fraudulent activities.It’s also smart to request a credit report annually

  10. Keep good records. Save yourself from scrambling at tax time – and don’t miss any deductions – by organizing your financial records early in the new year. Be sure to save receipts, cancelled checks, pay stubs, bank and investment statements, and proof of any other deduction you want to claim, such as alimony, charitable contributions, or mortgage interest.

This list was gathered from

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