5 Tips for Taking Control of Your Personal Finances

Do you need to take control of your personal finances? These tips range from “learn how to negotiate” to “get everything in writing” – and they’ll help you get where you want to be.

First, here’s a big money mistake many of us make…”One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made around money is allowing myself to be bullied into contributing to group gifts at an expense greater than I wanted to spend,” writes Lois Frankel in Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich.

Second, here’s an article that will help you take control over your personal finances: 10 Highest Paying Jobs for College Students. The most important money tip is to earn as much as you can. Saving is less important than earning.

Do you spend money because you feel pressured – overtly or covertly – from your friends or family members? Social pressure can be a big money problems because it leads you to spend beyond your means. Those $7 lattes or mochas add up fast, my friend — not to mention the group gift that costs $50!

If you struggle to save money, read Right on the Money! Taking Control of Your Personal Finances. It’s a solid guide to paying for college, buying a car, budgeting, etc.

And here are a few tips for taking control of your financial situation…

Get comfortable with negotiation

If you want to achieve your goals – financial or otherwise – you need to learn how to negotiate. Everything in life involves negotiation: where you and your partner are spending your next vacation, how you and your coworker should divide work responsibilities, and even how much money you should spend on a sweater (or car!). Men think of negotiation as fun and exciting; women view it as scary.

“Women don’t get as much as men because they don’t ask for it, and they don’t ask because negotiations make them nervous,” writes Lois Frankel in Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money. To take control of your finances – and stop spending money you don’t have – you need to learn how to negotiate.

Get everything in writing

I watch Judge Marilyn Milian on People’s Court every day (twice a day if I can manage it!), and the biggest money management mistake people make is not getting stuff in writing. Trust me: getting everything in writing will help you save more money, time, and energy! Get a written contract that stipulates the details of a sale, job offer, divorce settlement, family property division, or service contract. Always make sure every financial transaction you do is in writing, signed by all parties.

Share the responsibility for the household budget

“­Make sure you’re not the only member of your household concerned about your budget,” writes Sarah Siddons in 10 Tips for Staying on Budget, over at HowStuffWorks.com. “If you’re working hard to save money, but your spouse is out spending you into debt, you’re fighting a losing battle. Sit down together and make a plan to determine how much ­spending money you should each have. Then, check in every week to see how well you’re doing. If the entire family shares the responsibility for the budget, everyone can cut back just a little and make a big difference.” You can’t take control of your personal finances if other people are gumming up the works.

Separate money from friendship or love

Do friends or family members often ask you to lend them money? You need to find the balance between helping them and taking control of your own money. When someone you care about is in need, find ways to help them that don’t involve financial loans.  Offer other types of support, such as help with resume writing, help with networking, cook dinner, babysit, help with paperwork. If you lend money, always write up a contract. To control your financial situation, don’t sacrifice your future to take care of the needs or wants of others.

Be careful who you get financial tips from

One of the best ways to take control of your personal finances is to talk to financial gurus. You don’t necessarily need to hire a financial planner or stock investment broker, but you should hook up with people who are money-savvy. But, be careful who you take financial advice from. Trusting the wrong person with your financial investments can hurt your future. Don’t blindly trust anyone – a partner, husband, child, relative, or your best friend’s investment advisor – to take care of your portfolio. If you want to work with a financial planner, ask for a free consultation, review their charges, and select someone with a broad base of knowledge.

“If you’re not accumulating the amount of money you need to be financially independent, ask yourself why,” writes Frankel in Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money. “Are you better at playing the role of ‘nice girl’ than you are at playing the financial game?”

Use the law of attraction to take control of your personal finances – read Money and the Law of Attraction – 4 Ways to Attract Wealth.

Are you in control of your personal finances? Comments welcome below…


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7 thoughts on “5 Tips for Taking Control of Your Personal Finances”

  1. Dear Jennifer,

    I wrote this article for you – I hope it helps you take control of your personal finances. Money is power, and it’s so important to get your financial house in order.

    6 Ways for Stay at Home Moms to Be Financially Independent

    Let me know if you have any thoughts. I wish you all the best!

  2. Hi Laurie thank you for posting this! Women and finances can be a real struggle, I know I struggle with money. how can a woman who is financially dependent on her husband get her own money?

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments, and tips for taking control of your personal finances! Every bit helps :-)

  4. Great insight into improving one’s life and achieving more in less time. Sometimes it is very stressful when it comes to budgeting, you have to sacrifice things just to save but once you get used to budgeting and see how much you can save, you wonder why you never did it before.

    Thank you so much for sharing this great insight! More power!

  5. Laurie,

    First point is the one that was best reminder for me. I (we all?) get so used to just accepting the stated price, offer or whatever for most things we buy, when many times they are negotiable. No question that one tip can have a big impact on our financial lives if we’ll make it a personal goal to practice it regularly.

    Trick is making it a habit, but I’m working on it. Your post was a good reminder! :)


  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your money saving link, Denise! The best way to manage your money is different for everyone, I think, and we need to find what works for us.

  7. This is a good article. There are many ways to manage and save money. Getting out of debt is so important. It is very stressful to keep getting bills month after month that you can’t pay.