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The Top 10 Ways to Take Back Control of Your Finances

Feb 29, 2008
If you're like many people these days you have a least some issues regarding your personal finances. Far too many people are living paycheck to paycheck and are barely keeping their heads above water. These people often find themselves being just one missed paycheck from financial disaster.

Perhaps you are only making the minimum payment on your credit cards each month. You could be one of the unfortunate people who are finding they need to use their credit cards for regular expenses like groceries. Or maybe you just feel like no matter how much you make, you seem to spend it as fast as you get it.

Whatever your situation you probably just want to regain control of your personal finances. There is the way to control your spending, get out of debt and build savings. Yes. I said it. Build your savings.

There is a relatively simple way of taking back control of your money. Like all endeavors, it starts at the beginning. Here are the Top 10 ways to begin to get your finances under your control.

1. Decide to do it.
This can be as hard or as simple as you want it to be. There are many people who will read this article with the intention of taking back their financial future. Too many will read all of the suggestions and then they will do nothing. Don't be one of those people. Make your decision now.

2. Commit to do it.
Unlike the 1st suggestion, this one may not be as easy for some. Only your commitment to take control of your finances will lead to success. You can't wish it, want it, hope for it or just say you'll do it. You must commit to doing it and committing means taking action immediately. Like as soon as you are finished reading this article. You will only succeed by taking action.

3. Make a list of all spending.
No, I didn't say expenses, I said spending. All of it from food, prescriptions, credit cards, mortgage, car payments and car insurance, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, etc. Take your time. It is likely that you will miss a few things the first time you sit down to make your list. Don't worry about that. You can always add in the things you may have forgotten later on.

4. Really know where the money goes.
Now, you might think I'm repeating number 3 but I'm not. The best way to know where your money is going is very simple. For one month you will record in writing every check you write, every credit card purchase and every dollar and cent that you spend. This is the only accurate way to know how much you are spending each month.

5. Separate the needs from the wants. Like step 1, this step will be as easy or as hard as you choose to make it. But it is very simple. Food = need. Fast-Food = want. You don't need expensive clothing, shoes, etc. You want them. If you're committed to this, you'll find that your wants are things you can do without, at least for a while. Master this and you've gone a long way to regaining control of your finances.

6. Make a realistic budget.
And stick to it. It is not about depriving yourself but it is about money management.

7. Pay yourself first.
Yes, you're reading that right. You get paid first. This will become what the rest of the world calls savings. It is to be used for your future or unplanned emergencies should they arise and too often they do. Having some money in the bank can help cushion the blow.

8. Find ways to save on your needs.
If you want control of your spending then rid yourself of any issues you may have about shopping at discount stores, using coupons any buying store brand items over name brand.

9. Reduce your debts.
To reduce your revolving debt such as credit cards, you should either pay off the smallest balances first or pay off the debts with the highest interest first. There are different schools of thought on this, but you have to decide which is best for you.

10. Set goals and when you reach them, reward yourself.
This last one may sound contrary to all the suggestions that have come before, but it is not. As I said in number 6, this is not about depriving yourself. It's about properly managing your money. If you're following these suggestions and succeeding in getting back control of your money then rewarding yourself a little now and then is a good thing. It adds incentive to reach your goals.

And there you have it. The top ten ways to begin gaining control of your personal finances and in doing so, take back control of your life. It's your money. It should under your control.
About the Author
Tom Schaffer is an ex-Bill Collector who has escaped from the corporate world to pursue affiliate marketing at http://www.jerseyshoremarketing.com. He's using his powers for good helping people regain their financial freedom. One way to do that is http://www.jerseyshoremarketing.com/redirect77.html
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