Reality choices - Personal Finance Management

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Personal Finance

Do you ever wonder where your money goes every month? Does it sometimes seem as though you cannot afford to do things because your financial obligations are holding you back? If you find that you are asking yourself these sorts of questions, perhaps you should take a look at your financial situation and assess whether you are practicing good money management or not. Good money managers spend within their income, plan for the future and solve financial problems as they arise. Poor money managers pay more, do without and fall behind. If you find yourself in the second category, you can do something about it. You can learn to take charge of your finances by putting together a spending plan.

The first step in following through with a spending plan is answering three simple questions:

  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I want to be?
  • How will I get there?

Answering the first question, "Where am I now?" allows you to consider what your income is, how much it costs you to live each month and what you are doing with your money after everything is paid. Answering this question is important in determining how you will respond to the other two questions.

Setting goals is an important part of your money plan. Asking yourself, "Where do I want to be?" leads you not only to set goals, but to reach them. Perhaps you are planning to take classes at university, or you want to lease a new vehicle. Whatever your financial situation may be at present, looking at and planning for the future is always a wise money management move. It also leads you to effectively answer the third question, "How will I get there?"

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Defining your plan involves establishing a strategy to balance spending and income while assuring you have money set aside to achieve your goals. Answering the question, "How will I get there?" will allow you to plan the details after you have determined your short and long - term goals.

The "Money Planner" will help you to better assess your finances. By marking down your monthly income, monthly spendings, as well as your spending details, you will see where your money is going. Keeping track of your finances is a key component in properly managing your money.

For more helpful tips to aid you in reaching your goals as a young adult, as well as useful information that you as a consumer will benefit from, check out the online booklets called Reality Choices found on ConsumerInformation.ca. This Web site created by federal, provincial, territorial governments, selected non - governmental organizations and their partners provides Canadians with useful one-stop access to hundreds of objective, reliable, current consumer information sources.

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