Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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Now is the time to get the home budget under control, assess debt, and keep track of business costs.  Setting up a system at the start of the new year somehow seems more satisfying than starting in May.  A few easy tips: 1. Spend less than you make, after taxes.  What you make after taxes is the actual disposable income.  Many people forget about taxes, whether property, income, sales, car registration, or state taxes, and then are surprised when the paycheck runs a little short at the end of the month. 2. Create a realistic budget.  Sit down with the credit card receipts and the checkbook, and figure out the major expenditures, such as the house and car payments, utiities, and food.  Then create the rest of the spending plan after you have paid the bills. 3. Know where the money goes.  Many people get into trouble because they truly cannot figure out where the money went.  So track it.  And be honest.  If you truly do spend $60 a month at Starbucks, but buy your clothes at Goodwill, that is okay as long as you have planned for that in the budget. 4. Write it down.  The best way to know where the money went is to track it.  There are many great personal finance programs available.  You can use a ledger book.  You can use a school notebook.  There is a free downloadable monthly budget program on my website that allows you to either make your own book by printing out monthly sheets or you can maniplate the entries and amounts and it does the math for you.  It is yours to use, and is not on any server, so your information stays completely private. 5. Plan for the rainy days.  If this recession taught us nothing else, it alerted us that anyone have financial troubles, so it is wise to save for emergencies. Good luck and let me know how it goes!!! Mary


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