Before running you must walk, before walking you must crawl and before crawling you need to first climb out of a uterus. Everything in life requires baby steps and financial matters are no different.
Before you do any type of investing you need to have something to invest with, which means you must first learn how to save. Whether you’re living from paycheck to paycheck or just knee-deep in cheddar, cash can slip right through your fingers if you don’t keep track of it. This is why a budget is one of the most important and fundamental steps to taking control of your finances. Here are some great free templates you can use in order to begin tracking your monthly spending: https://docs.google.com/templates?q=personal+budget&sort=hottest&view=public
I know what you’re going to say, “Who gives a crap? I make money, I spend money, as long as I got a little something shaking in the piggy bank at the end of the week I’m happy”. That’s the kind of attitude that got Athens in the pickle it’s in, got the United States government flirting with bankruptcy and currently makes my fellow Canadians spend $1.50 for every buck that they earn. Poor planning due to lack of insight. By simply starting to track (not change) your spending, you will likely realize how much money you can save.
In the next few posts I will go into more detail about how to painlessly track your spending, what personal budget ratios to aim for and how a simple piece of paper can add instant cheddar to your current paycheck.