Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Know Thy Finances > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Know Thy Finances

The first step to financial success lies in knowing your financial situation at any given time. There is an anecdote attributed to John D. Rockefeller--that as a child he was given a monthly allowance from his parents, but upon stipulation that he had to save 10% of it, give away 10% to charity, and account for the rest of it. While his parents required that he record down to the penny where he spent it--you can be a bit more lenient on yourself!

Track your spending for 1-2 full months

Use a program like Quicken to keep track of all your personal finances. I recommend the latest version of Quicken or a similar financial program if you already own one. You should start out by entering in your present-day personal checking account, savings, investments, and cash situation.

To complete this step, you will also need a cheap plastic filing container or something similar. You can purchase these for about $15 at Office Depot, etc. As you make payments, keep track of all the receipts you receive, the checks you write, and any other monetary transactions you make. Like I mentioned earlier, you don't need to be exact when it comes to cash--just try to be, as much as you can tolerate.

At some later time, at your leisure, enter all this transaction data into Quicken. As you do so, put the purchasing receipts into the file folder under the appropriate Category. Make separate labels for each of the file folders-- I suggest some of the following:

  • Personal

  • Household

  • Charitable

  • Books & Education

  • Dining Out

  • Business Expenses

  • Taxes

  • Misc.

    You can also add your own categories or remove some as appropriate. At this point, you may be wondering why you have to do all this. For the moment, just trust me that it will be beneficial to you (I will explain it later on). Also, it takes a grand total of about 10-15 minutes per week to do what I just described. The next section, Budgeting, will take a little longer. But budgeting also requires that you need to at least perform the first step mentioned above, that is, keeping track of what you currently spend.

    Planning your Budget

    I can already hear what you are going to say--oh no, not a budget! I don't like them either, because they tend to reign in my emotional spending or "I gotta have it" mentality. The truth is, you are the master of your financial destiny (not to sound corny, but its true for the most part). If you want to buy that fancy knickknack with the wireless PDA attachment downloader, then by all means, get it. But if it doesn't serve your needs in the long run, then you will have wasted $X dollars to serve your fleeting emotional desires. Besides, you will notice after tracking your budget for several months where the real money is flowing. You might buy a fancy computer toy only occasionally, at $200+ dollars, but eating out at lunch everyday + dinner with the girlfriend at fancy restaurants all the time is leaving you broke. How about going to bars? I like to drink, but a beer at a bar or nightclub can range from $4-$10. It's probably even more if you live in areas like San Francisco or New York.

    Anyway, the point of planning your budget is just to get a better grasp on directing the flow of your money. I'm not saying that you should totally change your lifestyle or even change it at all--but if you are complaining about not having enough then there are certain things you should do, mainly spend less. It will be described later the benefits of saving & investing your money (which you probably already know anecdotally, but perhaps do not have extensive experience personally).

    Good Luck!

    About The Author

    Shanti Braford

    Editor/Publisher

    The Long-Term Value Letter

    http://www.ltvinvest.com/

    In The News:

    This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

    Forbes

    7 Personal Finance Books You Need to Read This Summer
    Forbes
    It's summertime, and that means relaxing by the pool or on the beach. But before you pick up the latest paperback thriller to read by the water, consider giving your brain a little bit more of a workout. These 7 personal finance and self-improvement ...


    Financial Times

    Weekend catchup — this week's personal finance headlines
    Financial Times
    Oxford university's Saïd business school is launching a course in algorithmic trading, underscoring how prevalent this form of investing has become as artificial intelligence rapidly advances, writes Lindsay Fortado. The six-week introductory course ...


    Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

    Will Your HELOC Be Tax-Deductible?
    Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
    The rules can be confusing, so if you aren't sure what applies, contact a trusted financial advisor and/or your local IRS office. You'll be ready for your 2018 tax filing and will have clear direction for the future – at least until the next round of ...


    Daily Nation

    PERSONAL FINANCE: Don't believe social media lies
    Daily Nation
    Rebecca has decided to take a break from social media. She says that the last thing she needs while going through a period of change is to see how perfect other people's lives are. You see, Rebecca has just been retrenched. Money is tight. She has had ...

    and more »

    MarketWatch

    A new Southwest credit card and a shot at a billion dollars
    MarketWatch
    Happy Thursday, MarketWatchers! Just one more day of the work week. Here are your top stories in personal finance. Personal Finance. Over 5 million renters have lost money in rental scams. Nearly half of young renters say they have encountered ...


    Are You Losing Employees to a Bad Commute?
    Journal Times
    If there's one thing most workers would agree upon, it's that a shorter commute is preferable to a longer one. Americans collectively spend over 100 hours each year getting to and from work, which is more than the amount of time they spend taking vacation.


    Journal Times

    Identity Thieves Still Successful Despite Credit Freezes
    Journal Times
    Credit freezes are one of the most powerful tools you have against fraudulent use of your identity. Unlike a fraud alert, which just requires that creditors take reasonable steps to verify your identity when a credit request is made in your name, a ...


    MarketWatch

    Where rich people go for financial advice and how to give your kids a head start
    MarketWatch
    Happy Friday, MarketWatchers! We made it. Here are your top stories in personal finance. Personal Finance. 130,000 veterans are about to get a hefty refund from the Department of Defense. Veterans face unique financial challenges — here's what they ...


    Personal finance startup Even raises $40m
    Finextra
    In order to address this growing problem, and based on the unprecedented success of the company's national program with Walmart, Even announced new plans today to dramatically expand the company's financial services with a $40 million round of ...


    Los Angeles Times

    Reading about privileged New Yorkers' personal finances will make you believe in socialism
    Los Angeles Times
    Like most first-person tales of personal finance, they mostly exist so the rest of us can judge their choices in the comments. Who drops $175 for weeknight sushi? Are you really doing a monthly clothing subscription when you have student loans to pay? Etc.

    and more »
    Google News

  • Single Mother Resources Directs You Towards Success

    As a parent you are bound to face a few... Read More

    Do You Really Need the Power of Money Management Software?

    I have been a loyal user of Quicken(R) for more... Read More

    Safely Save for Your Childs University Studies Using An Education IRA!

    This investment retirement account (IRA) is useful to you as... Read More

    Save Money Off Your Home Utility Bills

    Many don't realize that our basic utility bills provide the... Read More

    How to Attain Your Dreams on a Single Income

    If you recently became a single parent and see your... Read More

    Financial Readiness: Preparing for BRAC (Base Realignment And Closing)

    The recommendations for military base closings have been released and... Read More

    The Wonderful World Of Address Labels

    Ever wonder where address labels come from? Avery® is perhaps... Read More

    Budgeting Tips to Save Real Money

    Sticking to a budget can be difficult, but with so... Read More

    Affording a Home

    Can you really afford a house? If so, how much... Read More

    How To Free-Up 10% to 15% of Your Income

    Would you be interested in freeing up 10% to 15%... Read More

    Financing Collectibles for Fun and Profit

    With the advent of the internet and especially auction services... Read More

    Help With My Annuity

    The cries are heard from the distance, "I need help... Read More

    Succession Planning

    Have you ever thought about what you are going to... Read More

    Personal Loans For Homeowners ? One Of The Numerous Rewards For Being A Homeowner

    You no longer look at the pictures of homes cause... Read More

    Save Your Money, Dont Give to Charity Scammers

    **If it's Spam, it's a Scam!- If it sounds too... Read More

    Bankruptcy Chapters Explained

    Chapter 7The potential chapter 7 debtor should understand that a... Read More

    Check Fraud and Verification

    Before buying personal or business checks you should inform yourself... Read More

    How Check 21 Affects You

    The Check 21 Law is the new federal law for... Read More

    Organizing Your Finances - Thinking Outside the (Shoe) Box

    If you're like most people, your personal financial records are... Read More

    Personal Checks ? Extreme Benefits

    Millions of people have a checking account and many people... Read More

    Improve Your Professional Image Using Address Labels

    One of the simplest ways to improve your professional image... Read More

    Budgeting the Key to being Financially Stable

    Single Mother's in need of Financial GuidanceBudgeting is key to... Read More

    College Expenses: Seven Ways to Save on an Education

    Many people graduate from college owing thousands of dollars in... Read More

    The Benefits of Banking Online

    How many drawers did you have to look through to... Read More

    Kundalini Lessons - Money

    I've been going through and interesting growth period lately that... Read More