Managing Personal Finance is All About Making Choices

This article was written by Ashley over at Money Talks. Her passion in life is to help you get control of your money. If you like this article you can stop by her site or subscribe to her feed.

Someone said to me yesterday “If you make great choices today, you will have a great tomorrow.” Isn’t that the truth?

Then later in the day I heard something along the lines of “Yesterday’s choices created today. Are you happy with the life you’ve created?

The quotes emphasize what we know to be true. Our choices affect our lives.

If we want better lives we have to make better choices. If we want to be fit and healthy we needs to exercise and watch what we eat.

If we want to have better relationships we need to spend more time with our loved ones. If we want to be better off financially we need to spend less money than we earn.

Since this is a personal finance blog and I’m a personal finance author let’s take a deeper look at our desire to be better off financially. We can make better financial decisions by tracking, measuring, and analyzing our spending and money management.

Track

Tracking your spending is critical if we are going to change our financial choices. Before we can change our choices we need to know what our choices currently are.

Early-in-the-process tracking gives us our starting point. It’s the “You Are Here” arrow on the map. As we move along towards our goals, tracking becomes a way to make sure we are on target and moving in the right direction.

Measure

Another critical decision-making tool when it comes to finances is the budget.

The budget is the plan of how we expect the month to go. It’s a tool we use to measure our spending against to make sure our spending is in alignment with our ideals and desires.

Making conscious spending decisions will assure that your future is the future you want, instead of the future you end up with.

Analyze

As you go along with your budget and tracking, you may want to analyze your progress. We may want to know if you are  meeting your financial goals? If you are saving enough? Or, are you having enough fun?

The answers to these questions will guide you to make changes in your budget. Financial goals like saving for retirement aren’t met with a few big actions. These types of goals are met with small day-to-day choices.

Analyzing your results makes sure that your day-to-day activities are in line with your long-term goals.

Once we start making better financial decisions we will have a better financial life.

It can’t go any other way can it?

One of the things that will naturally happen when we start making better decisions will be that unimportant things start to get left aside.

That’s good!

As we lose the clutter in our lives, whether it be material or mental clutter, we make room for the things that are most important. This leads to a happier, less stressful, more productive life.

SB’s thought: This post made me philosophical. You might have skipped this post but, you made a choice to read it. It may have been in your destiny to read this post.

There might exist a reader somewhere, who’d get inspired by this post and would start making better choices in his/her life. And, that might change his/her financial life forever.

When I stand in front of a shop window, dazzling with latest electronics or latest fashion, I make choices. I quickly remind myself on more important things in our life that require money. I make a choice, 99% of time against buying.

My choices are based on information, which are derived after routine research on my assets, liabilities, budget and goals we set for us. If you are well-informed about your personal financial situation, your choices would automatically correct their courses.

Personal finance is mostly about making choices, buy or not to buy, invest or not to invest, spend or save, stocks or funds, etc. Thus, managing personal finance is nothing but making informed financial decisions.

Readers, do you make informed decisions when it comes to selecting one of the choices, for your personal finance needs?

is a husband and working as a software professional for a Fortune 100 corporation in Florida. Thanks for visiting the blog.

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Comments

  1. says

    Howdy! I am new to this site – saw you featured on Blogoday today. Really like the layout of your blog – will spend the afternoon reading through some articles :)

  2. says

    I definitely like to think that I make informed decisions. I try to research into things when I decide to make a purchase or anything that requires me to invest my money. Those quotes are dead on!

  3. says

    This is so true and empowering because it means whatever mistake you’ve done, your choices today can help you getting towards the path you want for your life.

  4. says

    My wife always gets upset when things get pushed back because we are doing so much with our young kids and tired life but I always say we make stuff happen. We might take a minute or a month to do it but we do it and in the end of the day we make great choices.

  5. says

    Great thoughts – a lot of people see choices day by day as disjointed things, but in a way they can all be woven together. The bank didnt hold your paycheck too long and make you miss rent, your frivolous spending the day(s) before left you with not enough spare cash to cover your obligations.

  6. Jacob Britt says

    Making a budget is key. If you just record what you spend and track it, you’ll notice when you are getting close to your budget limit and slow down your spending.

  7. says

    I agree! Taking charge of your future starts with your financial decisions. My first best financial decision was savings and then investing it. It led to many more good decsions that finanlly allowed me to get through that magic door (financial freedom).

  8. says

    Great message! I have always subscribed to the premise that for the most part, you make your own life by the choices you make. If you make poor choices in how to handle your finances, you can only blame yourself for the consequences. The liberating thing about that is you can also make changes at anytime!

  9. says

    And the very first choice before any…to take back control over our lives and finances. To stop being a prisoner to the banks, our employers and to the credit card companies.

  10. says

    SB,

    I am a big fan of Descartes’s philosophy. His famous quote, “I think, therefore I am.” sums up our life in a single sentence.

    Everything we do has its consequences. Who I am today is the culmination of how I have lived my life for the past so many years.

    Shilpan

    • says

      This has good side and a no-so-good side. Good side, your finances would be in order. bad side, people around you may find you crazy

  11. says

    I do track my spending, but not as compulsively as I used to. I made the conscious decision that tracking every penny was clouding some of my larger decision making abilities – I guess you could say I was being scrupulous to a fault!

    • says

      Nope, not at all. I believe in diversity. You should do things the way you find value. But measure your way to determine effectiveness.

  12. says

    Thanks for this article. I think it’s essential to take control of our finances. Sometimes, incorporating some changes in our routine, generate many benefits in our lives. Especially in these times, where personal finances are so important. In my blog does not deal directly these issues. However, I spread ideas of financial investment. My main goal is just to help many people without the time or knowledge. Good management of investment ls of these people, can make a difference in their lives.

  13. says

    Congratulations on this wonderful article. I totally agree that Managing Personal Finance is All About Making Choices. A further aspect that helped me to grow economically was to generate additional income. But not an income that comes from a more dependent work. What I propose is to generate income from an activity of self. Whether an activity as a freelancer, or coming from a “seed equity” or an activity such as an online business. With time and dedication required, the more likely is that this activity grows.May grow much and in this case you can become a corporation or may grow slightly. But in any case, will have many chances for additional income.

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