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Copyright © 2002 by Joe Freeman. All rights reserved.
The Web Sage
Where Did It Go?
How many times have you entered deposits into your checkbook, calculated in your head how much spending money remained and then later discovered you were wrong. You first thought is always Ė where did it go? Then you start trying to figure out where you spent all that money. Surely the bank has made an error! Banks do make errors, but unfortunately most of these money problems are our own creation.
The problem is we fail to plan our spending. We mentally balance our checkbook and for some unknown reason, we reach the end of the month with less (or even no money) than we expected. If you make what you consider a good salary, and find yourself in this condition consistently, you have a money management problem. If you donít make what you consider a good salary, you need a good money management system just to survive!
The key to any money management system is to understand where you are spending your money. If you donít know what you are spending money on, you canít stop it. This is not a big chore, but it does require some discipline on your part to keep some spending records. The advantage you have today is that there are several software programs out there that will assist you in accomplishing this task. By tracking your spending habits you can identify areas where you can potentially cut your costs and save some money. A friend of mine once told me he had no idea he was spending $200 a month on magazines until he started tracking his spending.
Unless you have committed to a purchase above your ability to make the payments, itís not the big items such as mortgage or car payments that cause these money problems. Itís the lack of planning for additional purchases that cause the problems.

Once you understand where you are spending money, it is up to you to take control of those expenditures.

- Joe Freeman

For additional ideas on money management, read the following:

Are You Living Above Your Means?

How Much Does Life Cost You
Money is better than poverty,
 if only for financial reasons.

Solvency is entirely a matter
 of temperament and not of income.

Money is a singular thing.
 It ranks with love as man's greatest source of joy.
 And with death as his greatest source of anxiety.
 Over all history it has oppressed nearly all people in one of two ways:
 either it has been abundant and very unreliable,
 or reliable and very scarce.