UNITED STATES—You have it one minute, it’s gone the next second. I’m talking about money. Americans want it, some of us have it, some of us have a lot of it and some of us don’t have much of it at all. It is indeed a conundrum to say the least. I used to toss around the word budget a lot when it comes to money and for some reason that scared a lot of people. I’ve coiled things back to realize that management is a better term when it comes to money.

Why do you say? When you use the word budget you put parameters on what you can spend. Whereas, when you talk about management its more about ensuring you have WHAT YOU NEED to take care of WHAT YOU NEED AND WANT! I’m a firm believer of utilizing lists with exact prices whenever I shop. This pertains specifically to grocery shopping and purchasing household items.

This helps me determine what I truly need versus items I’ve just put on the list for the sake of putting it on that list to begin with. Some call it crazy; I call it genius because it helps monitor what I’m spending on a given day, where I’m spending it and what I’m spending it on. Look at money management like balancing a check book; if you keep documentation of what you spend, you have a better idea on how to save.

I used to be a firm advocate that having a bank account was a must; nowadays I don’t agree with that so much. A bank is simply a place that holds money and charges you a fee to do it. You can house your own money and sometimes you can do much better than the average bank. Why? No one can manage your money better than the person who makes the money.

You can heed and take advice from others, but the last thing I would do is allow someone else to control my funds. Why? How do you know you can trust that person? I mean we hear so many horror stories about people who take advantage of others who have loads of money. They nickel and dime that individual until it reaches a point where they have nothing else left. Just ask the countless celebrities who have gone from riches to rags. Trust is a major thing when it comes to money, and if you don’t trust the person managing your money you shouldn’t allow it.

Money management is all about knowing what is coming in, what is being spent on expenses and what you spend for treats. I use the word treats because it’s not necessarily services or things that you need, but you feel good when you allow yourself to have them. However, if you take a closer look it becomes a realization that you can save even more money if you cut a little bit here and there in the long run. Money management is not solely about saving money, it’s about knowing how and where that money is being spent.

Written By Kelsey Thomas