4 Tips to Help You Manage Your Money

Stay frugal, no matter how special the occasion may be

simple tips
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Before traveling on a recent business trip, I got my hair done. Since this was a special occasion, I wanted to look extra nice, so I didn’t go to my regular hair salon. Instead, I went to one that was more upscale.

Unfortunately, the stylist who had done my hair before was booked. She had done an excellent job—my hair came out bouncy, curly, and full of volume. This time, I got another stylist who used way too much heat on my hair, leaving it flat, thin, limp, and lifeless. I lost my curls just standing up.

The price for this upscale ’do? More than $100—when I usually pay just $35, including tip. I’m normally very careful about my money and generally seek out lower cost options. But, this time, I relearned a lesson I’d learned before: Don’t spend more money for special occasions.

But, this time, I was forced to relearn a lesson I’d learned before: Don’t spend more money for special occasions.

Henry David Thoreau, the famed 19th century essayist, naturalist, and author of Walden, puts it like this, “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” There’s more to the quote, but I’ll leave it there.

 

Useful Money Tips

 

For more help with keeping tabs on your money, note these tips below:

  1. Buy with cash. Forking over cash is a lot harder to do than whipping out a credit card. Don’t believe me? Try it. If you commit to spending cash only, you’ll find yourself spending a lot less.
  2. Monitor your accounts. I check my checking account online just about every day. The other day, I found an unexpected charge of more than $85, which I quickly called to reverse. Had I not been monitoring my account, the charge would have remained undetected.
  3. Ask to have all fees waived. I almost always pay my bills on time, so the one time I pay late, I ask to have any fees waived. Nine times out of 10, they are waived, because I have a consistent record of on-time payment. Always ask.
  4. Don’t overpay medical bills. If you pay a co-pay, don’t pay any bills that you receive in the amount of the co-pay. A doctor’s office once owed me $55, because I had overpaid them. I checked my “Explanation of Benefits” for my health plan, and realized I had overpaid. It took two or three phone calls, but they eventually paid me back. I also avoided paying a medical bill of $251 by waiting, until I checked the “Explanation of Benefits,” which showed that I did not owe that money.

For more about money, see the Black Enterprise Money channel.