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Be Practical About Personal Finances
by Samantha Flokigge

Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of managing
personal finances. Most people are petrified of the very
concept because it brings up the complicated and intricate
image of budgeting, investing and making difficult choices
between buying or renting. Mind you, it is not only the
mindset of the common man; even the well-informed and
educated consumers face this dilemma. Consequently, most
people avoid handling personal finance concerns till it is
too late, and irreparable damage has been done.

However unsavory the subject may be for you, the best way
out is to face it up front. All you need to do is have a
firm understanding of your actual income and your expenses
every month. Many people have a general idea of their
earnings and expenditure and whether or not there is any
difference between the two. You must have a definite
picture of your financial position before you take any step
towards managing your personal finances.

So the first thing to do is assess you financial situation.
Gather together all of the information and documents
that will give you a picture of your financial position.
Tally your net worth, including real estate,
superannuation, monthly income and all other assets.
You may be pleasantly surprised by the total. Then, set
yourself up a budget by listing all of your expenses. Be
completely honest and dont leave anything out. If you
cheat on this you will only be cheating yourself. List
everything including luxury items such as take out,
cosmetics, magazines and movie tickets.

While a budget is absolutely the first step to taking
charge of your personal finance, this is by no means
the only step you will need to take. You can investigate
other services in the marketplace, such as electronic
bill pay, investment counseling and seeking out hints
and tips for financial health. Electronic bill pay or BPay
as it is more commonly known, is particularly useful for
people who tend to be disorganized or who
procrastinate on keeping their bill paying in order. You
can even arrange for your bills to arrive by e-mail rather
than through snail mail. You then pay them
electronically, by direct withdrawal from your bank
account and the transaction gets processed straight

Once you have assessed your budget and established
a regular and efficient bill paying mechanism, you
might feel that you are then brave enough to investigate
other areas of personal finance such as investments
and stocks and shares. Once again, the Internet can
be an invaluable resource, allowing you to thoroughly
explore all of the different options and strategies
available. You can find all sorts of useful references
about investments such as term deposits, managed
funds, purchasing stocks and shares and participating
in share clubs.

Like a majority of people, you would like to start simple
by opening a short-term savings deposit account. Monthly or
weekly deposits in it from your paycheck would allow you to
pursue your next goal, whether it be a car, holiday or some
health related issue.

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