5 Tips to Help Women Manage Finances

I may hate it, but I’m the person who handles finances in this family.  Kind of seems to make sense since I’m home full time.  I was kind of freaked out at first- I mean, what if I messed up? But I was determined.  As with all things- hey, guess what? I’m NOT PERFECT!! But I can handle the finances.  (I still hate it).

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We women NEED to be able to handle our own finances. Lots of money or little money, we have to know how to budget and handle money.  I’d much prefer someone did it for me- but what if something happened and suddenly I was left to handle things on my own? That could be disastrous!  In no particular order, here are some tips to help women manage finances:

1. Educate yourself.  Don’t know how to balance a checkbook?  Find out how.  Get a book.  Check a tutorial online.  Ask your bank.  Ask a friend.  Learn what to do with your money and where to put it, no matter how much.

2. Know your income.  From $100 a week to $10,000 a week/month/year, you need to know what money is going to be coming INTO your family. At least a ballpark. You aren’t going to get far without knowing!

3. Know your expenses.  There are certain things that you likely spend money on each month- for us- mortgage, gas for vehicles, electricity, cable, internet, phone, food.  There are also “regular” expenditures that won’t be monthly but you can count on incurring- like car insurance payments (we pay 1x/year because I can’t stand to give $4 a month to a company for absolutely no reason and want to keep my $48 in my pocket), heating oil, property taxes, etc. It isn’t that you have to know the exact dollar amount of these, but having at least a general ballpark figure will help you to make a plan.  Which brings me to item 4.

4. Have a plan. You can call it what you want- a budget, money plan, I don’t care what it is.  But have a plan.  Then, live within that plan.  For us, our plan is that we pay bills off in full each time they come in.  Period. We actually put anything and everything we can onto one particular card- we accrue reward points/moneys that benefit us and we pay it off monthly.  Win, win.  Part of that plan is a deposit into a savings account.  Even if it’s $5 a week, something goes into savings.

5. Stay organized.  Keep records.  You need to be able to find things and reference them- and if anything happens, you’ve got it already set aside.

Articles like this one on Women and Money from Time Magazine are also great resources for information about women and money.

What are your tips for managing money?

This post was inspired by Genworth Financial.  Opinions are my own.

About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

144 comments… add one
  • My husband organizes most of our finances, but I’ve been helping by organizing receipts.

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  • I use the Dave Ramsey envelope system and we’ve been debt free for 6 years now.

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  • We use an excel spreadsheet. We check it and balance it out twice a week to stay “on track” and adjust for any unforseen expenditures.

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  • I enter lot’s of giveaways. Helps me get things I can’t afford, thanks!

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  • Great tips! I need to do better with my finances!

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  • Great tips! My husband handles the big investments and I handle the day to day spending and budget. Makes me think we should cross train just in case.

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  • I love the advice to save something, even if it is just $5, it gets us in the mindset to think about the future. Great tips!

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  • I try hard to stay on track, couponing helps me save a lot

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  • it’s important to have a handle on expenses… I do everything for our household, and sometimes tend to splurge where I shouldn’t. I think it’s important to have a budget and stick to it, save some for a rainy day or unplanned expense and then have a little for entertainment.

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  • my husband does most of our bills and does so poorly i wish he would let me do it

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  • Very interesting article

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  • With our economy in such a mess we all have to learn how to handle our finances and how to stretch those pennies. My daughters and I are working together to save money and to learn how to better budget our money.

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  • I manage all the finances in our household, and recently I started staying home wiht my daughter! My job is to make sure to handle everything and budget budget budget.. good read!

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  • I think this is such an important post. Woman need to learn about finances. If something were to happen and you know nothing in regards to your expenses and incoming money you’ll be lost. After a divorce it became imperative for me to learn . Thanks for the post.
    Carol L

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  • my husband should read this. he is the one with the big income and I am the money stretcher and saver

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  • WITH 3 GRAND DAUGHTERS AND 1 GRAND SON, I SHOULD BUY STOCK IN CHILDREN’S PLACE, I THINK 50% OF THE CLOTHES I BUY THEM COMES FROM CHILDREN’S PLACE. THE BRIGHT COLORS ARE THE BEST!!

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  • What a great post, thanks for sharing it!!!

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  • great tips!

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  • Very good tips!!

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  • These are all great tips!

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  • It is so important for women to be involved in the finances

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  • I am the financial person in charge of the majority of the spending and have taken care of my husbands debt now on to my student loans lol

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  • Ive recently begun to manage my finances again and love the tips!

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  • So important. So many women don’t pay any attention to their finances. Thanks for sharing these tips, the hardest for me is staying organized.

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  • Single mom…do it all.

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  • it’s very important for everyone to understand their own finances

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  • i try to always have a plan when it comes to money, again thanks for the great post, sometimes we all need a little help

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  • awsome tips, thanks for the great post

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  • I think all women should know how to take care of finance in case something should happen and your on your own it isn’t an added pressure on top of what has caused it to happen.

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  • A support system and a plan are always good to help.

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  • I feel very blessed that I have a mother who instilled strong money management skills in me from a very young age. These 5 tips you gave are essential, especially know your expenses. I am able to charge everything on a credit card(and earn cash back) and pay the card in full each month because I know in my head what I can and can’t afford and I don’t try to convince myself otherwise. Plus when making a big purchase or an out of the oridnary purchase I never do it on a whim. I research, price match, and really give myself time to decide if it’s something we really need or just desire for no good reason. You would be amazed how just giving something a little time makes you decide that you don’t really want it after all.

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  • These are good! Thank you for sharing!

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  • i just this month sat down and figured out how much I could spend a week to stay on budget. Thank you Vicki

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  • We’ve always struggled to find a budget that works for us. My husband and I share the financial responsibilities but we have a hard time finding time to sit down and discuss it all.

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  • I agree that knowing expenses plays a big part in managing finances. I do all the financials in our household (I’m the nerd), and as long as the income is higher than what I know the expenses will be, I feel secure.

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  • I love these tips. I believe that both men and women should be aware of finances and capable of managing them.

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  • it is so important for women to be self-sufficient when it comes to financial responsibility. thank goodness i knew how to budget and do a bank statement and pay bills. when my husband died expectantly, i was able to take care of my money worries and deal with other issues that were also important.

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  • I think it is really important for people to track their spending. I have several friends and family members who never seem to know where their money is going.

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  • Always a great idea to have a budget plan!
    Jamie

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  • It is such a good idea to have a handle on your expenses. Great tips thank you.

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  • i actually wish my husband let me handle the bills. i think because i do the shopping i have a better grasp of expenses and where we can spend

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  • Never buy without a coupon!! 🙂

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  • I too handle all of the finances here too and wouldn’t have it any other way. I love your tips and will be passing them along to my daughter.

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  • “Know your income.” I think is one the most important things to know. We often spend outsind of our income when we dont think of this.

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  • Thsea re great points and I know how important it is to keep up with and budget for finances!

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  • I am very good at saving money but thanks for the extra tips!

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  • Very helpful. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  • Finanaces are a challenge for us all. Great job.

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  • all excellent suggestions and not just for women

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  • I hear alot of people say, don’t use credit cards. The whole reason they say this is to avoid paying interest on monthly payments. However you need to establish a good credit score, and credit cards are the easiest way to do that. You just have to make sure you have the money to pay it off each month and not get interest charged. You can go charge, say $30 at Walmart, then pay it off when the bill comes. Some retailers even give the credit cards for free with no annual payment to have them. I think Fashion Bug and Roamans do this. You could go in and charge a scarf or blouse for 15.00 and pay it off when the credit card bill comes. That’s how I built up my credit score, and NO it’s not easy but you have to pay for the item anyway so why pay interest on it?

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  • i can use at least two of the tios..thanks

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  • i think they should teach this stuff in scholl to help todays kids

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  • I wish I had known more about managing money when I was younger. It would have saved me a lot of grief as I got older.

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  • great tips! thanks for sharing

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  • It is so important for women to be involved in the finances and know what is going on.

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  • I think one of the most important things is to stay organized. If you can’t find your paperwork how can you take care of it.

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  • I completely agree that women need to be able to handle their own finances! These are REALLY good tips, especially number three. I used to let my fiance do everything but ever since I stepped in, we have been able to start saving for the first time. lol

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  • I handle our finances and take care of all household needs

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  • I wish my husband would share more in managing the finances!

    Erin

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  • I used to handle the finances, but as I had more children, my husband took that job on. I think I could easily jump back in though if I had to and these tips are great.

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  • I too am in charge of my family’s finances, as I am the planner in our family of 2. Hard job, but definitely a necessary one for the success of a family, no matter the size.

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  • These are great tips and I would hope that all women make themselves aware of their finances. Being overly co-dependent can be a scary thing.

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  • Now-a- days learning finance is very important. Thank you for the valuable information.

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  • Good advice. Some people need help with this, so good to put it out there.

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  • Great tips. Always shop with a list and stick to it.

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  • These are definitely some pretty good tips.

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  • i def. agree, knowing your expenses is a huge must especially those big ones such as car insurance, house insurance and property tax. those come up every year about the same time and they are big ones for us.

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  • I think it is important for women to manage their finances and if they are married to know how to pay the bills even if their husband does that job.

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  • Keep track of your debit card spending. It’s easy for all those little swipes to add up.

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  • I think that having a plan is important. It helps you stay on track.

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  • I think it is important for women to know how to manage money so that in the event that something unfourante was to happen then would know how to take care of themselves and the family.

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  • Definitely important to know your expenses so you don’t over spend on things that aren’t essential!

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  • This is all good advice. My best advice is to write a budget and stick to it.

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  • I read something recently about women and finances that questioned a woman’s ability to manage money. I call BS on that! Even if it is the man who works fulltime, who is that knows–in detail!–*exactly* how much the groceries, the kids’ clothes, the extra-curricular fees, the pediatrician, the dentist costs? We do! We know the good price to look for a Barbie doll or a train set! So, yes, we do need to be educated and learn to make plans, but we can do this thing even better than the men.

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    • You GO Oirl! I totally agree with you.

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  • It is always important for a woman to feel empowered by knowing how to take care of her own finances.

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  • always follow your gut feeling known also as common sense ,,,,thanks

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  • I think having a plan is important I only wish I had figured that out about 25 years ago when I was young and invinci le!

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  • This is a GREAT post with some really helpful suggestions. Women should always be aware of the finances and how to buget. You never know if and when you will be left alone, and it is very important to have experience with money management.

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  • I feel people should have some one that knows more about finances to help them.

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  • I think having a plan is the best and most difficult to adhere to. Without the plan, we overspend… But setting a realistic plan can be difficult for me.

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  • Great common-sense financial advice – thanks!

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  • This is exactly what I needed. Thank you so very much for this information. I know I will be referring to it.

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  • I had to learn finances rather quick in my marriage. Hubby likes to spend spend spend

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  • Maybe it should be titled for men and women! LOL I am the one who takes care of our finances – dh doesn’t have a clue! He couldn’t balance a checkbook if his life depended on it!

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  • I think it is extremely important for women to manage their finances carefully. I have seen too many women depend on their husbands for their financial security and become both emotionally and financially devestated when the husband either passes away or is no longer in the picture.

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  • I know I have to keep an eye out on my expenses because since I do only onilne billing and statements, I really don’t know what I’m getting charged and one time I looked at my cable bill and saw that I was getting charged for the German language channels. WHAT!!!! how did that happen?

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  • It is so important that women understand how to manage their finances for themselves, their families and to set good role models for their children. I am starting to teach my daughter about the value of money, and I hope to lay the building blocks for the tips you outlined above.

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  • Learning finance is so important these days, it is never too early to start!

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  • Balancing a budget is very difficult when kids and family seem to want or need something extra constantly. Thanks for the helpful information though.

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  • When my husband passed away I did not know how to manage our household finances since he always did it – it was very hard at first but now I am doing well. Everyone should be able to handle money matters

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  • I think it is extremely important for women to manage their finances carefully. I have seen too many women depend on their husbands for their financial security and become both emotionally and financially devestated when the husband either passes away or is no longer in the picture.

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  • I always carry cash – it is so easy to overspend when all you need to do is slide that debit or credit card. And I always shop with a list

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  • this is so true for both sexes,my husband got divorced an he didnt have a clue they were so much in debt,she had taken a second morgage on the home an had run up numberous credit cards he didnt know she had so he left a 23 yr marriage with nothing

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    • Wow that’s scary!! Secrets are bad!

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  • Im in charge of all of our finances for the last 4 years and can happily say have got my husband out of his debt and now hacking away at mine

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  • GREAT TIPS! I still find keeping organize the hardest to do…lol

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  • One thing I have always done is to round up to the next whole # when I list it in the check register. 12 cents here, 48 cents there and by the end of the month you automatically have a few dollars extra, after I balance the ck book each month I tsf that money to our savings acct. Also saving all your chg in a jar everyday really adds up by the end of the year. Paying yourself back for all the coupons you use can really add up too.

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  • We have had this discussion in our house for 20 years…the job of doing the finances and the control of doing the finances. Something you definitely want to be in the know about but still a big responsibility. My opinion, debit cards and ATMs have made it too easy to spend, and not keep good records on non monthly debts and expenditures. I hate them. I want to go back to regular checking and balancing a checkbook, but with only a few checks a month now and many things set on auto pay, it doesnt even get done. I hate technology taking so much out of our hands but my husband loves it. Easier, but not necessarily better. Good tips for all women to know, and to not always depend on your husband or significant other, because like it or not the divorce rate is high and you never know. You need to know how to handle these things. Trust me, I have been there.

    Just told my husband I do not want to extend any credit anymore, at all, with exception of car payment and mortgage or possible true emergencies. He lives by the law that if you have the ability to use credit/borrow well, you should borrow. It’s ridiculous to pay interest for anything if you can just SAVE for those things you want. My opinion is that our generation wants everything they WANT right now, and are not savers like our parents. We are not teaching our kids to save, only to spend. I hate it, I hate it. We need more organization too. I want to see a financial planner but my hubby I think is too embarrassed to show our financial “colors”. arrggh!

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  • Great tips. Very helpful

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  • also important to have a very good financial advisor, one that you trust. be aware of your fees as well.

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  • Knowing your budget is so essential! And I’ve learned that buying used is ok, too. Growing up, we always bought new (even if it was cheaply made). I’ve now learned that sometimes you can buy something used that’s much better quality than a cheap new item. And if you decide to sell it one day, you can actually make some money back (whereas the cheap item will probably sell for next to nothing or wind up in the trash). Craigslist & thrift stores have become some of my best friends!

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  • It isn’t always easy to stay within the budget but if you do it will be rewarding knowing you can handle things without extra hassle.

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  • Great tips and I should really do them. May help us this year.

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  • I use credit cards with out the annual fee and like 0% interest for 15 to 18 months. Watch the APR after the free period some a very high like 29%. Thanks for the information in plain terms.

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  • Dave Ramsey is another person people can turn to when looking for Financial Peace.

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  • Another financial tip: If you qualify for a Senior’s discount (airlines, hotels, eating out), go ahead and take it, vanity is not a virtue.

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  • I save lots of money because I don’t have any to spare 🙂

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  • I have no check book and that helps me save money

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  • Those are great tips. I should show these to my daughter. Thanks 🙂

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  • This are good tips to keep in mind, right now I have split up my money and trying to save more then spend like before!

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  • I handle the bills at our house too and have done so for almost 30 years. You have some really good tips above and I use all of them. Now if I could just teach my daughter to have a budget plan.

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  • It’s very important that we know how much is in the bank at all times. More importantly, we have to start teaching children how to manage finances wisely because I know friends who doesn’t seem to know how to save, but are very good at spending via using that magic plastic card.

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  • women need to plan ahead and so do men,In todays world it may be the husband who knows nothing about the family finances.

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  • i think with our economy the way it is we all need to be concerned with or finances a little more

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  • And…always have your own (non-joint) bank account – you never know….

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  • These are good tips for anyone, not just women, but often women ae the ones who need them the most.

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  • Finances are a a scary thing for most families I think. Especially with the current economy. thanks for sharing these tips!

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  • A budget is very important to help keep you on track. I think it also easily lets you know if you have extra money for a big expense or a vacation!

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  • Thank you for the tips…I’ll say, I really really need help managing my finances! I’m always broke, and I have no idea where the money goes!

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  • Great tips. I have a budget and information is key like you said.

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  • These are great tips. My mom always taught me to save and how to best manage money. I am very particular about my money and manage it for our family.

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  • Hubby leaves all of the financial business up to me. I am not a big spender anyway, only buying shoes when they are needed, buying thrift, not spending money on jewelry, etc, you know, materialistic things.

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  • I was the one that always did the bills for years. I started asking my husband questions about the finances to see if he knew what the bills were because I was going into the hospital and he didn’t know anything about the bills so I started teaching him how to do it and he took them over. I thought it would be better for him to get practice since I had always done it before

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  • Great tips and it sure helps us all out with using our coupons for savings with so many things we purchase. I like that you put the bills or anything needed on a card to get reward points. May as well keep winning when you can. That is an excellent idea!

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  • I always know my expenses and make sure to not go over my allotted amount. I did find that I was not watching my expenses very well and I was spending too much money of food. My sister let me know that I am going overboard in this area, and I now make sure to stick to a budget while grocery shopping.

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  • Great tips. We have a budget and stick to it. We are like you that we don’t use credit cards and if we do it is paid off as soon as I get the bill. We try to use cash for most purchases. When you use cash it helps you know where your money is going. It is to easy just to swipe a card.

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  • Having a plan is the hardest part for me because something can happen that derails your plan. Nevertheless it is still important to have a plan.

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  • Wonderful tips. I have always been very good with money. I only wish I made enough to actually save.

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  • Great list to get started. My tip is: Put AT LEAST 40% of your income straight into savings. If you can’t do 40% you need to find a way to make more money, or live more within your means. Ideally you would put 50-60% away.

    This will cover a lot of unexpected costs moving forward. If you’re not currently saving money – picture something happening, you can’t work for 2 years.. What are you going to do? If you saved 40% + for 2 years prior, you’d be ALL SET!

    Hopefully nothing ever happens, then…when you get to a nice ripe old age and are ready to retire – you can travel the world with the money you’ve saved!

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  • “Know your expenses.” Uh…yeah. This is actually tricky. It’s very easy to forget all those little expenditures that really add up, so it’s important to track them. You have to know what you’re dealing with before you can formulate a plan for it.

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  • Staying organized is key! You need to know what money you have coming in and how much you can spend of that.

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  • Thanks so much for these valuable tips, i do almost all except the savings part, but i will start saving even if its as little as $5 for the raining days 🙂

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  • My best advice is, do careful research on the internet before you decide to buy any vitamin/mealshakes or diet aid supplements: 85% of all Soy products sold in the US have been polluted with GMO, for example- even some that are supposedly “organic”, so beware.

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  • I’ve always been in charge of the finances also. My husband always jokes that he makes it, so I manage it. I like it this way, but I must admit that bill paying time seems to come faster and faster. It’s like, whoa, it’s the 1st ALREADY?!!

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  • I have done our finances for a very long time- I would say another tip is you and your partner have to be on the same page -meaning you both know that needs come before wants!

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  • Great tips – we must learn to save our money.

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  • great tips. i will definitely be using these.

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  • Wisdom! This is just what I needed to know! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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  • Staying organized is one of my daily goals. I feel like it helps to be organized in every aspect of your life, but definitely when it comes to finances because staying organized allows you to retain as much control as you can over your finances so that if anything does go off balance (either through your own decision or not), you can see where it did and figure out a solution to fix it (or at least have proof to help you get there)!

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  • Awesome tips! Thanks 🙂

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  • This is great, very important and informative!

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  • I follow all of these tips religiously. We don’t have a lot of money coming into our household but we manage w/o debt because I use the tips above to manage our finances.

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