Control Your Money

Written by Sarah Provost
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If you don't control your money, it will certainly control you. Headaches, insomnia and unnecessary stress can all be caused by financial carelessness, and can easily be avoided by making good use of a budget program. Even the word "budget" sounds rather old-fashioned these days, but when the average American is carrying approximately $8,000 in credit card debt, it's a concept whose time has come again.

Control Your Money through Greater Awareness

One reason for the increase in debt is that we aren't as aware of how our money is spent as people used to be. When there were no ATMs and credit cards were used by only a few, people knew very well on Friday night how much money they had in their pockets, and that it had to last until Monday morning. It was a pay-as-you-go society, and everyone knew just how far they could go.

Today, we seldom handle cash at all. Paychecks are deposited directly into our accounts, and even small expenses are paid by credit or debit cards. That makes it increasingly difficult to control your money without a budget system to help you.

One solution, of course, would be to stop using credit cards for day-to-day expenses and revert to cash. The old-fashioned envelope system, in which the week's pay was divided up into envelopes dedicated to groceries, rent, insurance, and other expenses, worked well. You always knew how much you had left to spend in each category. Today, you can control your money through an electronic version of the envelope system, or by one of the many other financial awareness programs available online. Which program you use matters less than that you use it consistently and put the responsibility for your spending in the forefront of your mind.

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