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This time of year with tax season rearing it’s frustrating head I always start to think about our finances and how my husband and I can work at managing them in a smarter way. As it stands currently my husband and I share the responsibility of managing our family’s finances and that works great for us. My husband is responsible for seeing that the house payment is paid, the utility bills are under control, and that we keep continuous insurance coverage. My responsibilities (which are admittedly much less stressful) include household expenses like groceries, toiletries, laundry necessities, I also handle all school and extracurricular activity fees, equipment, trips, etc..
While our system works well for us I know that it wouldn’t work for everyone. In my previous marriage I let my husband take care of all of the bills and he usually forgot to pay something every single month, he also handled the household and school and wasn’t always on top of things. Over the years I’ve been given so many tips on how to manage my finances successfully and though most have proven to be more of a hassle than a help there are some that have actually made managing our finances easier and I wanted to share them with all of you.
One thing you may not know about me is how I obsessed I am with order, I cannot stand for things to be scattered about and out of place. My obsession with order is very helpful when it comes to managing our finances better and the number one way it helps is that I make printable monthly spreadsheets. I make sure that the spreadsheets have enough columns and rows to list all of our income for the month and all of our expenses as well as totals for the month and how much we’ve managed to save. this helps us tremendously by allowing us to see at a glance how much money we;’re bring in, how much money we have going out, and how much money we are saving. It also makes it easier for us to identify areas where we could cut back to help save more.
Another thing that we do that really helps us save more and more money each month is cutting out fast food, which is a HUGE money magnet if you eat out often. By eating at home we’re saving more money and spending more quality time at the dinner table!
I hope that my tips have inspired you to find new and creative ways for your family to help manage finances smarter and easier! Here’s to saving lots of money in 2011!