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Three Big Steps To Better Money Handling

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Finance
With prices increasing all the time, saving money can be harder and harder to do. Here are some solutions for saving a little so that you can still meet your needs and still find ways to trim off a little for the future.

1. BUDGET Get one and stick with it! And set aside at least a small portion for savings while youre at it; savings for your future, your retirement, your education, your vacation, whatever. Head to your local office supply store for planning workbooks or budget sheets to use. Or head to your favorite search engine and type in, budget planning for hundreds of sites with articles, free downloads, tips, ebooks and other resources to help with your budget setup and follow up.

2. PLAN AHEAD Make sure to plan for emergencies and the unexpected, like an appliance break down or garage door malfunction. Even if you can only set aside 50 or so each monthly, place it in an account and earmark it for this Miscellaneous fund. Then when things go wrong, and they will nothings perfect youll be better prepared.

3. NON-MONTHLY ITEMS Work out a monthly payment for items that you dont pay monthly and set this up in your regular monthly budget. For example, for items like annual home owner or renter insurance, quarterly water bills and automobile insurance payments and annual trash bills, take the amounts and determine what they would be monthly. Then list the items on your budget log and pull these amounts aside, saving them in your account for those purposes. This way, when the bills hit, you wont be caught off guard and have to scrounge for the payments.

What works well, instead of handling multiple savings accounts for each company owed, is to use index cards and one savings account. Create one index card for each bill. Then simply log the amount youre setting aside on the card and deposit it into your savings account. Keep the index cards with your savings passbook to remind you what the balance covers. The total of all your index cards should equal the balance in your savings account. (Make sure to create an index card for your regular funds that you are saving each month in step one above and a card for your Miscellaneous fund in step two above).

So next time you get paid, take three giant steps forward. Grab your index cards, follow your budget and invest in yourself and your future. Get a grip on your money handling.