smart spending

Money management 101

Be prepared to save a few bucks
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Be prepared to save a few bucks

Be prepared to save a few bucks

From the middle class to millionaires, everyone feels a few dollars short of comfort at times. But more money won't necessarily solve financial difficulties.

Developing strong money management skills can help you use the money you have today to live the life you want. Plus, when your ship does come in -- the great job, the winning lottery ticket or the inheritance from rich Uncle Bob -- you'll know how to handle it.

"People need to have a plan for their money," says Steve Bucci, Bankrate's debt adviser and author of "Credit Management Kit for Dummies" and co-author of "Managing Your Money All-In-One for Dummies." "If you don't have a plan and the other person does have a plan, they're going to win because they have the discipline, goal and desire and you're just sort of playing by ear."

And who is the other person? Marketers, says Bucci, who also authored "Credit Repair Kit for Dummies."

It's not your imagination; people are out to get you -- or at least your money. Being prepared will help you counter the very real forces out there that want you to spend, spend, spend.

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