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Top 3 Things I Learned from a Financial Management Course

Updated on March 6, 2012
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I was doing a pretty good job managing my money. I always paid my bills on time and always had enough money to pay them. The problem was that I never had any money left over at the end of the month. After taking a personal financial management class, I was able to see where I was going wrong and how to fix it. These are the most important concepts I learned from the course.

Be Consistent
One of the most important things I learned from this course was to be consistent in my financial affairs. This meant being more consistent in spending, saving, and tracking my income and expenses. This course helped me to put in place a system for tracking my income and expenses. It also helped me develop a plan for paying off debt and to commit to following this plan every month on a consistent basis. In the course I figured out how long it was going to take me to pay off my student loan. By being consistent with my payments, I was able to pay off this loan within six months. I also learned that saving money on a consistent basis was vital to helping me reach my goals and developed a monthly savings plan. While the amount varied from month to month, I committed to saving every month.

Eliminate Waste
In the course I learned that financial waste comes in many forms. It might be the daily cup of coffee from a coffee shop or simply leaving the lights on when you leave a room. The course made me much more conscious of how much I spend on little things. The $20 to $30 per month that I spent on little indulgences like a cup of coffee, eating lunch out, and candy suddenly seemed like a lot of money. It meant I was spending up to $360 every year on things that were not helping me achieve my financial goals. I decided to drop my “indulgence” money down to $10 per month. This helps me indulge an occasional craving and save $240 per year.

Save the Difference
Another important lesson I learned was to save the difference between what I made and what I spent. A simple concept but if you are used to just spending any money left over at the end of the month, it can be difficult to implement. To help myself actually use this concept I put money left over at the end of a month into my savings account. This helped me not think about the money so I did not spend it.

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