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Financial Management Tips

Efficient financial management helps you to meet your financial objectives. To do it right, you need to know exactly where your money is going and then organize your budget accordingly. These tips can help you solidify your personal finance efforts.

Keep track of your spending

Jotting down every purchase you make on a notepad may be the simplest way to go about this task, but you run the risk of losing your notes. Saving your receipts is another option, but you may run into similar problems keeping track of all your receipts and keeping them organized.

On the paperless side, you can monitor your debit or credit card spending with an online account. However, cash expenditures and money taken from other sources can be easily overlooked. You can also use computer software or apps such as Mint or Mvelopes to keep tabs on your spending.

Whichever method you choose, you’ll have to get into the habit of recording each expenditure, no matter how small. Evaluate your expense history so you can identify trends and make any necessary changes.

Create budget lists

Start by listing your regular fixed payments, such as housing, car loans, insurance premiums, child care and other bills. Next, list the average amounts you pay for regular variable expenses, such as utilities, phone bills, credit cards, and TV and Internet service. Finally, think about your large, irregular expenses, such as home and car repairs, and vacations. Go through your old bank statements and receipts to get rough estimates for these costs.

Organize bill payments

This is the final piece of good financial management. With both paper and online bills, some people may find it difficult to keep track of what’s been paid, how much and when. You need to create a space for your bills – online or off -- where you can separate paid bills from unpaid bills, whether it be a folder, accordion file or paper tray. If you haven’t transitioned to a paperless lifestyle you may want to print out e-bills so you can file them as well. There are also websites such as FileThis.com and Finovera.com that keep track of your bills for you.

You can also set a regular time to pay bills. Once a week, check your bills and pay (or schedule to pay) any that are due. You can also set up automatic payments or use the bill pay service many banks offer checking account customers. Be sure to notify anyone you share a bank account with so they know when money will be taken out.

Learning some essential financial management tips help may prevent a credit dilemma in the future. When you start to manage your finances, it's important to start with the finance basics to keep your spending in check.

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