Money Management

A common phrase in money management circles is "Making money isn’t hard; the hard part is keeping it." Here are some tips on how to keep your money:

  • Before making purchases, determine whether the item is a NEED or a WANT. Buy the needs and occasionally treat yourself to the wants.
  • Forget the Joneses—they truly have nothing to do with you.Determine fixed expenses (car payment, loans, rent, etc.) and variable expenses (food, phone, entertainment, etc.).
  • Pay fixed expenses first, because you can always lower or adjust variable expenses.
  • Track your spending by using money management software like Quicken or Money.
  • Don’t spend what you don’t have—use DISCIPLINE.2 credit card rules: 1) always pay off the balance at the end of the month (emergencies withstanding) and 2) use credit cards that accrue points, discounts or other goodies.
  • Pack a lunch rather than eat out.
  • Shop at thrift stores, garage sales, use coupons and always try to buy on sale.
  • Use Sprague Library and your local library to rent movies and borrow books/magazines.
  • Negotiate price wherever and whenever you think it’s appropriate.
  • If available, sign up for your employer’s automatic investment plan—& watch the $ grow.
  • Establish and contribute to a Roth IRA whenever possible—the account appreciates tax free each year and better still is that all gains can be withdrawn tax free after age 59 ½.
  • Enroll in your employer’s retirement plan and—at the least—match their contribution.Invest what you have saved and let compound interest take care of the rest.

ALL THINGS MONEY

Money in Your 20s- for new grads! There’s a great deal of helpful information here to help you think about where your money goes.

The Motley Fool Don’t let the name "fool" you—this site is tremendous. You’ll find articles on how to get started in investing, ways to make and save money, and even how to save your first million. Full access to discussion boards costs about $30 a year—well worth it.

MONEY FOR COLLEGE

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101 Ways to Pay for College

SAVING MONEY

Yes, You Can Really Save Money Are you on your way to ducking the debt collector’s phone calls or are you spending wisely? Ten great ideas for controlling your cash!

Federal Trade Commission - 66 Ways to Save Money The FTC offers "Facts for Consumers", ranging from Banking & Credit to Transportation to Insurance to Housing. Many web references are listed that back up the quoted information.