Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tips for effective money management

Get Rich Slowly solicits tips for effective money management. Mine are in the comments but I figured I'd put 'em here too.
-Automated savings. My 401(k) comes out pre-tax, obviously, but my Roth IRA payment is deducted automatically from my checking accout a day or two after payday. I don't have time to forget it. Then regular savings (car fund, wedding fund, travel fund) is automatically taken out a day after that. It takes a number of additional steps for me to stop saving.
-Digital bills. All of my bills come to me by email, I leave them unread until I pay them, and I pay them online. The only physical bill I get is for rent, which is slipped under my door a few days before the end of the month.
-Track spending. I track every dollar. I'm not very good about doing it every single day anymore, but I catch up at least once a week. My fiance made a fabulous spreadsheet that helps me keep track of the balances in all my accounts and the cash in my wallet.
-Receipts. Receipts go in the "pickle jar" which is where we keep our household cash. If you take money out of the pickle jar, you have to either leave a receipt or an IOU.
-Regular meetings with myself. I have regular finance maintenance meetings with myself once a week. They take only about 20 minutes -- balance the spreadsheet and compare to accounts, pay any bills, call and cancel promotional mailings from any company that's still sending me junk mail, stuff like that. Keeping on top of it regularly helps the meeting not last so long, which makes it not as intimidating to do.

What are yours?


  1. Wow,nice, one of the best read posts so far.

  2. I track my expenses with my iphone, then put them into a spreadsheet monthly. I should budget but i don't


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