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How do you learn how to manage your finances better for free?

I understand how to make a budget and all that, but I suck at following it. I am just horrible at actual follow through. i want to learn how to better save money. I know that you can learn how to save money with groceries and I am sure there are other areas that I can improve on. This is something that I REALLY need to do. I am out of all my back-ups to save me when things get out of hand and I need to do better about money management. Are there any websites or does anyone know of places that would offer help in this area with little to no charge?


Asked by aly38914290 at 10:09 PM on Feb. 22, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 8 (259 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I have a few suggestions:
    One is make it automatic as much as possible. So things that don't change from month to month (rent/mortgage, insurance, etc.) get automatically withdrawn.

    My 2nd suggestion is to budget high for variable expenses such as utilities, water, etc. That way when they come in and they are more than you expected, you still have the money in your budget to pay for them.

    Be realistic on what you need for food, fuel, and entertainment.

    And finally, use the cash envelope system. So if you decide your family needs $300 for groceries every month pull out $300 for groceries and stick it in an envelope labeled groceries. When that money is gone, it's gone. You can also do this bi-monthly, or even weekly. That way if you blow it, you didn't blow it for the whole month, just for a week or two. We do that with all of the things that we pay for in person- except for fuel.. we use a debit card.

    Good luck :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:23 AM on Feb. 23, 2010

  • I don't know where you can go, but if you don't stick with a budget and aren't disciplined to follow through I would suggest cutting up ALL your credit cards. Don't keep a single one. This will force you to live on cash and then you will only be able to spend what you have. That's the best way!

    Answer by micheledo at 10:22 PM on Feb. 22, 2010

  • i dont have any credit cards anymore. already got rid of them. the bigger problem is my debit card. and then also just managing so that we aren't spending on extras before bills. i am not very good at splitting up a weekly check. lol. and really i tihnk another issue is that SO is probably worse with money than i am. i never had problems like this before i got with like constant and I hate it. I want to be able to pay people and i want to get things paid off.

    Answer by aly38914290 at 10:26 PM on Feb. 22, 2010

  • I've learned a great deal just listening to Dave Ramsey's radio show, and sometimes watching on Fox Business Channel. You can also pick up his book, Total Money Makeover. Check to see if your library has it.

    Join some groups here on CM that deal with budget stretching, and there's even a Dave Ramsey Fan group. Other moms are a wealth of great tips and support when you need to vent about getting through tough times.

    Answer by halfpint_ny at 10:30 PM on Feb. 22, 2010

  • In addition to Dave Ramsey is David Bach....his books are amazing and can be found at the library, but he also has his own website:

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 10:36 PM on Feb. 22, 2010

  • You can try making your budget, then taking out enough cash each mother to cover ONLY what is on your budget. Don't use you debit card. Divide the cash into envelopes marked "groceries""clothes""entertainment".... whatever's on your budget. Do that for several months until you get a really tangible idea of what you're spending each month. I know someone who did this, and they said it really helped them take their debit card more seriously.
    Personally, I do our finances with Quicken. It will cost you something to buy it, but not as much as it will cost in the long-run if you keep overspending! It gives me a better idea what's available than just looking at my bank balance. Good luck!

    Answer by Adelicious at 10:54 PM on Feb. 22, 2010

  • Keep a list or calender of all bills including your savings. When you get paid, pay your bills first. Once you figure out how much you need out of each check for your bills, then you can create a realistic budget for food. Use coupons & shop sales. Don't buy convenience foods. Cook large meals & freeze the leftovers. Then you have ready made meals when you are in a hurry or too tired to cook.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 10:02 AM on Feb. 23, 2010

  • helped me.. they'll send you emails every week with tips and they show you where you need to put your money.. it was great

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:14 PM on Feb. 23, 2010

  • There is a wealth of info out there.
    But nothing works unless you put it into practice.

    Some favorites, (look through their archives and forums). For a slightly hipper take try Wisebread (online).
    If you need more, do a google search under "personal finance". Though I think these will give you enough to work with. For print references, The Tightwad Gazette (book, try interlibrary loan). The More With Less Cookbook.

    Answer by oddfox at 9:06 PM on Feb. 24, 2010