Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Money Management Week: Day 1

Greetings. :)  To start off with, let's pretend that I am a close enough friend to even ask this question...So. How are your finances? Do you know where your money goes? Kristin allowed me to guest blog and offer up my two cents on being financially savvy. So here we go. This week, you'll get 5 easy ideas for realistically managing your money and staying on top of your finances. On top of that, Call Me Kristin will be giving away a copy of Dave Ramsey's Money Answer Book: Quick Answers for Your Everyday Financial Questions!

image via anh-minh

#1 Keep a Checkbook

In this day and age, thanks to your handy-dandy debit card, every transaction you make shows up on your bank statement. So why bother keeping a checkbook? Because there is a constant flow of money in your checking account-well, at least there is at my house. Money comes in. I write checks for rent, utilities, cable, tithing (church offering) and various other bills. I go grocery shopping, pick up the photos, and buy a new book, etc. A couple days later, my husband wants to pay for two airline tickets because there's a great deal. He asks how are the finances? If I'm not keeping up my checkbook, my only answer is the online bank statement amount.  I check online, and hey-we've got $800 in our account. He buys the tickets...and a couple of days later, we are in the red. What happened? The  online bank statement doesn't show those checks you wrote but haven't cleared. Keeping a checkbook is CRUCIAL. I highly recommend reconciling your checkbook every week/two weeks. That means writing down every transaction in the check register. Yes. I know. Make sure that your online balance (minus the un-cleared checks) matches the balance in your checkbook. It takes some time, but it is worth it. I have never had an overdraft charge. And I can answer confidently when the husband says, how are the finances? I got my Bachelor's degree in English...which translates into I AM TERRIBLE AT ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION.  More than once I've "lost" over $50.00 Not kidding. Balancing the checkbook on a regular basis keeps you in the black. Trust me. Some weeks it takes me forever, but I know where every penny goes, and eventually everything balances. If I can do it with my HORRIFIC math skills-you can do it.

Keeping a checkbook doesn't have to be outdated. There are so many C.U.T.E checkbook covers out there. Pick up one for a pretty little reminder to stay up-to-date on your finances!

Join us tomorrow for Day 2: Conquering the Dreaded Budget!

Lindsay graduated from Brigham Young University with her Bachelor's in English. She has lived in Colorado for a little over a year. Her husband loves her because she makes him laugh. Her daughter loves her because she makes the best food in the world. :) Lindsay loves her book club, quilting, her family, and going places-the library, the zoo, hiking, sporting events. She loves to GO!

1 comment:

  1. Great thinking. Getting out of debt and staying out of debt requires that you know exactly where your money has gone and where it WILL BE going. This is what your monthly or bi-weekly (or whatever time period works for you) does for you. Then, don't spend a dime that's not already in your budget if it doesn't fit. We keep our "checkbook" online because that's what works for us. It's just an excel document that's shared between my wife and I through dropbox.

    People tend to get lazy and not follow through on the simple things. The simple things (your budget, checkbook, etc.) is what keeps your life simple. Follow them and you'll be happy you did.