Monday, February 8, 2010

Money Monday - Back to Basics Part 2 - Keep A Check Register

I definitely missed a week or two after starting my Back To Basics series on Money Mondays - but I'm back.

The last Money Monday entry aimed at encouraging you to organize a space to pay your bills.

This week I want you to pull out some old bank statements/open Quicken/or grab your handy dandy check register and pen and start keeping track of your purchases....Once you've accomplished that BALANCE YOUR CHECKBOOK - and do it monthly.

I've mentioned it before and will say it again: I am utterly shocked at those who do not keep track of their purchases other than seeing what has cleared online. THIS BY NO MEANS GIVES YOU AN ACCURATE COUNT OF WHAT'S IN YOUR ACCOUNT. The NSF fees confirm that.

It really is not that difficult to tuck receipts into your wallet and record them once a week. Make sure you have ONE specific place where you (and your spouse) put receipts. When the statement comes, check off the purchases and pat yourself on the back when it balances to the penny (I do a little happy dance because I'm an admitted nerd.)

If you ever want to succeed at money and control IT rather than have IT control you, you MUST MASTER this very simple but absolutely important step. If you haven't done this in a LONG time, do your best. It's going to be a pain and may take a month or two to get things on track, but please, stick with it. You'll feel so much more in control of what you've been given.

If you're spiritually inclined, this is biblical. God calls us to be good stewards of what he's blessed us with. Letting your money fly out of your hands without a second thought of management is wrong. Take a baby step today and start writing down those transactions after you do a little balancing.

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