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If budgeting and preparing expense sheets sound like tasks only an accountant would do, think again. Just because you chose to be a nurse don’t think that gets you out of having to know where you money is going.

Keeping track of your personal finances – even if you have an accountant – is important to your financial future.

It not only gives you a keen awareness of your money situation, but also increases your chances of making smart spending and investment decisions.

Following these crucial tips will help you create a secure financial future for you and your family.

1. Spend Less Than You Earn

Although this tip sounds straightforward, you may sometimes find it daunting to actually put it into practice. However, reevaluating where you’re spending money can significantly increase the your earnings, as if you got a raise, and help you live within your means.

  • The best way to get started is to write out all of your monthly expenses and see how this compares to your monthly income. You can use your last bank statements to track your expenses.This important first step will help you determine the current state of your personal finances.
  • Take a second look at this list and see if you have any expenses that can be eliminated or reduced. Be honest with yourself. Which expenses are wasting your money on things that aren’t even important to you? Focus on keeping what’s important and eliminating the rest.

2. Make Your Money Work For You

This can be as simple as taking advantage of the compound interest offered by most savings accounts to putting money in other investments like 401ks, IRA, real estate, etc.

Making sound investments can help increase your annual income over 5%. You don’t need to invest aggressively to get this kind of return, either.

3. Protect Your Money

Ensure that you have a plan to protect yourself and your assets in case something unforeseen happens. There’s nothing worse than working hard for your money and then losing it due to poor planning and shortsighted investments.

Sometimes, slow and steady not only wins the race with respect to your personal investing strategies, but it can also put your money at lower risk.

  • Having an emergency fund is imperative to stave off chaos with your money. If you feel like you cannot get ahead chances are you are in desperate need of an emergency fund. Start out small but start. You cannot get ahead if you don’t make the necessary changes now.
  • Consider obtaining insurance here are a few important ones to consider when are getting started to help protect your assets. Know that you may not need all of the insurances listed below, it largely depends on your personal situation.
  • Beware of any instant growth opportunities or investment clubs that promise overnight fortunes. These may include seminars with “self-made millionaires” that pressure you into signing up with a program that might not be a legitimate source of income. Take the time to research investment opportunities before you commit your money to them.

Knowing how to manage your money is a fundamental aspect of any successful long-term personal investment strategy.

If you take just a small amount of time to analyze your spending habits, you may surprise yourself with how much money you can save! You can then invest these savings in a way that will help you see returns year after year.