Personal Finance Gets Easier

A coworker is currently getting her financial house in order for the first time. She is paying off a heap of debt, setting up insurance policies and wills, and generally doing all the things she knew that she should have been doing all along. I’m proud of her. But she came to me the other day, flopped in the chair across from mine and said, “I don’t know how you do it.”

“Do what?” I asked.

“Keep your finances in such great shape all the time. I’m exhausted. Keeping track of spending, watching my accounts online, setting up systems, reading, clipping coupons, cleaning up credit reports, shopping sales, inputting everything into Quicken. It’

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7 Responses to Personal Finance Gets Easier

  1. Your story makes me very grateful that I have never been in such a situation.

    I can attest that when you’re living frugally, there is very little you need to do to keep your finances in order.

    My sister and I only buy things when we need to, and we put all our purchases on a credit card so we have an online record (credit card statement) of where all our money went. I do all our bill paying online, which takes but a few minutes a month.

    We don’t have a budget because we’re so used to not spending, and must make an active choice to spend.

    As you say at the end of your post, it gets easier. As with all skills, it takes time to develop the necessary habits, but once you’re in the groove, it becomes second nature.

  2. Hilary says:

    I’m tracking all of my spending for a while, and it is pretty time-consuming. I happen to like it a lot, but if I didn’t I think it would be torture.

    Also I found this tool – http://www.mint.com. (I’m not a sponser or anything, I just thought it was cool). For me it’s a good way to have a snapshot look at my finances without putting in the effort. At the end of the month I do a more accurate analysis, but on any given day I can log in and glance at my balances, spending trends, etc. Plus it’s free which is a nice alternative to most financial software.

  3. Ramiro says:

    Very true, I jus started getting my finances in order and checked my credit reports on Transunion and found over 16 items that were not mine and had them disputed and had them all removed! I’m sure this will raise my score saving me much needed money in the long run.

  4. Dustin Klein says:

    Very good article, I recently started a financial plan and like you said, it can be very difficult when first starting off. As time progressed though and It became more second nature for me I couldn’t believe how easy it was to manage and save my money.

  5. JOanne says:

    I think the first thing we have to do is make a budget. People need to live within their means in order not to ruin their credit.

  6. Diane says:

    It is true that it takes some time to get systems set up that work for you. Once you’ve done that, it does get easier.

    I now have a monthly ‘budget’, which is basically an excel spreadsheet divided into the 1st & 15th of the month. I have my bills divided into 2 groups to be paid on the 1st & 15th.

    I pay all but 1 bill online, so that’s easy, but it takes time to set that up also. I file all bills & receipts together in one file for each month.

    It’s second nature to me now, but it was definitely a struggle at first.

  7. Michael E. Douroux says:

    I very much agree with Penelope. Bad habit’s aren’t easy to break, but once you get the momemtum going, it does become second nature. You then start to see that by eliminating a lot of unecessary stress, the overall quality of life improves greatly.

    The exact same principles at the individual level carry straight through to the collective level. The current financial crisis is a reflection of how “our big home” over-extended itself.

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