If you feel as if you don’t have a good handle on managing your money, you’re not alone.

In this tough economy a lot of people are beginning to realize that they aren’t managing their money as well as they thought they were.    People are taking note and making changes.

When the economy is bustling, the tendency is to not watch our money that closely.   When the economy goes south, we panic.   So we have to learn how to tighten our spending when money gets tight.   Let’s learn about some money management tips.

Money Management 101

Manage Your Spending.

If you don’t know where you are spending your money, you won’t be able to plug up any leaks.  So to get a better grip on where your money is going, track your spending.

Money management tips and groceries#1 – Your Groceries:

  • Write down what  you spend for groceries every week.
  • Shop at warehouse stores, buying in bulk quantities will lower your grocery bills.
  • Use coupons.   You can find coupons online.
  • There are special websites that just offer coupons.

#2 – Your Cell Phones:

  • Check your cell phone features.
  • Make sure you use all the features in your package.
  • Do you use all of the minutes offered, if not change your package.
  • Why waste good money on minutes or features you don’t use.

# 3 – Your Cable Package:

  • Do you have the most cost efficient package for your personal needs.
  • Do you use all of the channels you’re paying for.
  • Cable companies are always offering deals, if you don’t shop it, you won’t know what’s out there.
  • Shop it.

#4 – Your Insurances:

  • Shop your auto and home insurance once a year.
  • You won’t know if you have the best insurance rates unless you shop it.
  • Take advantage of all the discounts offered by your insurance company.
  • Insure your home and auto with the same insurance company to take advantage of a home/car discount.
  • Insure all cars in the household with the same insurance company to take advantage of a multi-car discount.
  • Raise your auto insurance and home insurance deductibles to lower your insurance premiums.
  • To keep your insurance premiums down, avoid making small claims.
  • If you have a youthful driver on your auto insurance, ask your agent about the good student discount.
  • If you have an alarm device on your vehicle, make sure your insurance agent gets a copy of the alarm certificate from the manufacturer or car dealer.

#5 – Watch Your Spending on The Little Things:

  • Money Management tips and lunch moneySave money on lunches.
  • Pack your lunch 3 – 4 times a week.
  • Treat yourself once  a week to eating lunch out.
  • Save money on your morning coffee.
  • Treat yourself to a cafe latte once a week.
  • Make your own coffee at home the rest of the week.
  • Lunches out and other extra miscellaneous spending adds up without you even realizing it.
  • You may find yourself having that little conversation with yourself that goes like this “but a coffee latte is just a few bucks and lunch is just a few bucks, and I’m worth it”….change that conversation to “I can save money by watching my spending on the little things”

Manage Your Finances:

#6 – Your Investments:

  • If you’re in a temporary slump and can’t make ends meet, you may want to temporarily stop your 401k contributions until you catch-up.
  • Start the contributions back up after you get back on your feet.
  • By temporarily stopping your 401k contributions, you may be able to avoid having to take out a 401k loan in the future.
  • 401k loans can get complicated so try to avoid them whenever possible.
  • Sometimes 401k plans only allow reentry back into the plan at certain times of the year, so do your homework on the mechanics of stopping your 401k contributions before doing it.

#7 – Your Credit Scores

  • Credit scores above 750 are considered to be good credit scores.
  • You will get better mortgage rates with credit scores over 750.
  • With a good credit score you will save money on your insurance premiums.
  • You will pay lower rates on your utilities.
  • Your cell phone rates will be lower with credit scores above 750.
  • You will have lower rent payments with a good credit score.

Every thing you do somehow impacts you financially.   To get ahead watch your credit, manage your finances and manage your money responsibly.