Wednesday, April 06, 2011

30 days of smart money choices -- Day 2

1.) Remember that time is a resource, just as money is. You might save money by choosing a time consuming option -- such as sewing all of your own curtains or visiting 3 different stores in a week to get the best deals. If you don't have the time, that might not be the best way for you to save money right then. If you do have the time, it could be a great choice. Weigh time and money together.
2. ) Understand that your time budget and your money budget changes throughout life and that your time/money balance changes. For example, the woman with a middle schooler, pre-schooler, toddler, and infant in the home will have different time and money needs than a woman who is newlywed with no children, a single woman, or a married woman whose children have left home.
3. ) Some people are naturally gifted at managing finances; others are not. Even if it doesn't come naturally to you, learn and to the best you can. Others can help you so that you don't have to re-invent the wheel. For example, I have a friend who is excellent at couponing. Sometimes, I will go grocery shopping with her. She will tell me about certain deals. Likewise, there are many blogs that are written by people who will tell you what deals are hot in your area.
4) You don't have to have an MBA to balance a household budget and to make wise investments. Get advice from people who do have money skills, but always think through the advice for yourself. Even if you hire a money professional in some capacity, make sure that you
have at least a minimal understanding of the choices they are making with your money or the advice they are giving you.
5). Take care of equipment, cars, clothing, appliances -- Learn how to take care of things. Read suggested maintenance schedules, for example. Taking care of the things you have will prolong their life and keep you from having to buy more.
6). Learn how to choose things of good quality. Buy the best quality your budget allows. Don't worry if you have a small budget and can't afford top quality. Just do the best you can. Sometimes, a cheaper purchase can end up costing you more in the long run. For example, some clothing will last longer and wear better than cheaper versions will.
7) Be in unity with your spouse. Set priorities together. Have a set amount of money each of you can spend on your own. Have an agreement to talk to each other about any possible expenditures over that set threshold. Make sure that you both know how to get hold of important financial documents if there is an emergency. Even if you don't like handling financial matters and your husband handles most of them, be acquainted enough with what's going on that you could take over for him if you should need to.


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