Money Management and Master of Your Money

Knowing how to manage your money is an important skill. Managing your money is not the whole picture. To have a complete description and confidence in your financial future, you need both to manage and master your finances. Mastering your money takes planning ahead of your income and setting goals, so you are plotting a course before the money arrives. Managing is directing and controlling the resource you already have.

Managing Your Money Matters

Managing is defined as to oversee or have supervisory control. When you start a money management routine or system, you start with what you have, the balance in your accounts. Then you plan the direction those dollars will go. A budget is a standard management tool. It can be a simple paper list or an Excel spreadsheet of expenses in order of due dates. Anything that allows you to track where your money needs to go by priority level. Budgeting is an ongoing routine you will need to monitor and execute. There are many online budgeting apps to help you start managing your money. Make sure the app can do everything you need it to before you download. Some apps require you to connect your bank accounts and credit cards so if you are not interested in that find an offline program.

Mastery-Proactivity in Action

The other part of financial fitness is learning to be proactive and plan. This process involves setting goals for you and your future. Goals can include building up a savings account or starting a college education fund. You can plan for home improvement and beautification projects. Anticipating any increase or windfall in your income will help to make every dollar count. No longer will you wonder where your money went; you will have confidence that you are the expert in your financial future. No one out there will work harder to fight for your future than you, so think about how you want your life to run and plan accordingly. 

Putting It All Together

So financial fitness is not only the routine maintenance of managing the income and expenses. It is also taking the lead in your life, setting out those goals and projects that you want to accomplish and making plans to achieve them. Asking someone you trust and respect to look over what you have put together can be a great resource to make sure you have all the components to your plan. 

Take an hour this week and do a budget checkup on yourself. 

True Values at the Dollar Store

The wide variety you can find at the bargain dollar stores may be a treasure hunt or a total waste of your money. When it comes to choosing those items that are worth a quick trip to the store; experience is a good teacher. You could also ask your friends who shop at dollar stores what they have found to be of value. Pinterest and blogs often have dollar store ideas that will save you time and money also. 

Crafters Control Yourselves

To have a list when you arrive at the store can help cut down on the possible sticker shock when you check out and realize you put more than you intended in your cart. If you are making a craft project have the complete list of materials needed with the items you want to purchase from the dollar store highlighted in some way. This way if you run across something that isn’t highlighted, but the store happens to carry, you can grab it and save yourself an extra trip later. Items like glue sticks, poster board, markers, glitter, foam wreaths, silk flowers, and ribbon can all be great buys at the dollar store. 

Gift Baskets Galore

When you have those occasions that require a gift and a card the dollar store is a definite win-win place to shop. The teacher appreciation basket that you want to put together, but not spend the whole nest egg on, can be made with fun items from several departments within the store. For example, a small organizer bin filled with travel size facial tissue, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and pain reliever. You could add some tea bags of assorted flavors, mixed nuts, and a chocolate treat. Put this is in a large cello bag found and tie it up with a ribbon and as a final touch a thank you/appreciation card on the front. 

Frugal First Aid Kit

Putting together a first aid kit for your home or that care package for the young adult moving out on their own can be done within a short time frame. The dollar store carries first aid items in smaller packaging so you can put everything in a small container. Grab a bowl that has a snap-tight lid or a zipper pouch like a pencil box or bag. Fill the box or bag with band-aids, allergy relief, antacids, nail clippers, vinyl gloves, paper tape, and gauze. You may even find some items not mentioned that are useful additions to a life preparedness kit. 

Go check out one of your local dollar stores this week and see what you can find of value.