Are You A Good Money Manager?

Budgeting money requires diligence, attention, and consistency, whether managing household or job-related accounts for yourself or a company short-term or permanently.

Becoming a good money manager takes time and effort. Unless you are naturally good at keeping track of figures from various sources, you may need to invest some time to learn how to manage existing accounts and look for additional sources of income or savings.

Whether managing a household budget or a company's revenues, keep in mind the following principles for establishing a healthy financial attitude and practice:

1. Keep track of all income and expenses. No matter how minute the cost or slim the profit margin, print and file receipts in a form that will be easy to find when needed. Never take a money matter lightly, since a few dollars carelessly abandoned today may mean the loss of substantial funding tomorrow. Organize receipts into categories either alphabetically or thematically. Maintain an online or hand-printed ledged that documents all income and spending. Keep duplicate or triplicate records in case one set gets lost or damaged.

2. Shop for shrewd bargains. Watch for discounts, shopping events, or clearance sales where you can buy needed items at reduced cost. Whether looking for a second-hand sofa for your family room or a brand-new computer for the office, you can get nearly anything cheaper if you spend a little bit of time looking for the best deal. Don't forget Internet options like Ebay or Amazon, which, despite shipping charges, may render a very good price.

3. Establish accountability. Document all the financial work you do by adding supplemental explanatory notes and receipts. Prepare monthly or annual reports, even for yourself or a spouse, to show where the money goes and what there is to show for it. Having a second pair of eyes go over your records will help to maintain accuracy and avoid long-term or compounding errors. If needed, the budget can be adjusted or even change course depending on prevailing conditions and the consensus of your home or office group.

4. Save as much as possible. By shopping for discounts and being a frugal buyer, you can eliminate or reduce unneeded purchases and sticker price deals. In addition, stash unspent funds into a savings account. You can choose a long-term investment account with a mild risk or a short-term no-risk savings plan for immediate access to your funds when needed. Discuss options with a bank adviser to find the most productive avenue for your savings goals.

5. Avoid unnecessary debt. While many folks cannot afford to pay cash when buying a home or a car, other purchases can be made through saving and budgeting for them or by waiting until they become affordable. Don't charge frivolous items just because they have a temporary sales appeal or you have the cash in your pocket. A cute desk lamp or throw rug that sets you back $30 will eat that amount from your savings plan that is geared toward a larger investment, like a family vacation or an updated computer program. Buy wisely and be conservative.

Smart money managers handle money prudently and cautiously. They realize it is merely a medium of currency to be used in exchange for needed services or products. Take care of your money and it will take care of you.

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