Organization and Planning


Some minimal organization will keep your finances in order. Each of these is an important adult financial skill.

  • Track your spending. Use a notebook, or use Quicken if you have it. Good records will prevent you from getting overdrawn at the bank or charging more than your credit limit. This habit also allows you to detect spending patterns.
  • Make a budget. It doesn't have to be fancy. At the start of the month, estimate how much money you'll receive and decide where needs to go. Remember: you don't need to spend it all.
  • Save your receipts. Put them in a shoebox under your bed if you must, but hold onto them. You'll need to be able to compare them with statements at the end of the month. And some you'll need to keep for several years.
  • Guard your vital stats. Don't give out your social security number or your credit card info except to known and trusted sources.

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