financial food for thought no.1


keep track of your spending

Do you know where your money goes and is going? When was the last time you sat down and went through each penny spent? Do you know if you are making ends meet every month? Do you save every month?

I am sitting here and Coldplay’s Rainy Day started playing and I was reminded that I needed to check my finances today. I check them everyday. You may think that is a little obsessive, but I know where each and every penny goes that we bring in… and we make ends meet with even some left over. Those who know where their money goes, are those who are doing well in an economy such as this and don’t have to have some amazing job in Hollywood.

No one can change their money habits unless you know how you spend and where your money goes. I recommend that you track your spending for three months to figure out where things go.

There are some great products that are free on the web that can help you in this quest to keep track-

- novadebt.org

- mint.com

You are also welcome to just keep track in a notebook, on an excel spreadsheet (one of my favorite products of all time), or even on a whiteboard. I have one in the kitchen that I use for certain expenses (another thought day :)).

My hubby and I personally use Quicken. This program has been the best thing for us. It is really accurate and so nice to be able to pull up and download all my finance information on. It is pricey and kind of hard to learn how to do it right; however, it is amazing at what it has to offer. My advice is that you purchase it if you are the kind of person to read instructions and learn things not by trial and error. Maybe I can give some tips once in a while. However, we bought Quicken because we have three businesses to keep track of and we can do it all in the same program… nice.

But to keep things simple, the online programs are really nice because they send you emails and texts when you are low in balances, CC balances (heaven forbid!), and when you need to pay some bills. We used Mint.com before we purchased Quicken. These online programs also help you look at different CC offers to see if you can save money there. It is really nice!

keep track of your spending!!!

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