PAPERLESS CALCULATOR; PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD FINANCE, HOW TO MANAGE YOUR BILLS AND YOUR MONEY
How to Manage Your Bills, Checkbook and Credit Cards
Personal finance tips for simple management of your money, income and debt.
How to balance a checkbook and easily find mistakes. When to pay bills and avoid late fees, penalties and bad marks on your credit record. How to keep unplanned expenses from making you go into debt.
Consumer guide to frugal living - from previous newsletters © Copyright 1995-2000 by SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com - All Rights Reserved
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6.0 PAPERLESS CALCULATOR; PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD FINANCE, HOW TO MANAGE YOUR BILLS AND YOUR MONEY
If you do not own one of these calculators, I highly recommend that you buy one. This calculator is probably the most important tool you can own, to get a handle on your finances. I have been using one now for over 5 years, and it is indispensable for working with a long column of numbers. This kind of calculator is not complicated. In fact, it is much easier than a regular calculator because you can go back over your entries and correct errors. I have encouraged a number of people to use this device over the years and most find it worth its weight in gold.
Simply put, this calculator allows you to add up and display a long series of numbers just like on a cash register paper receipt. Because you can see all the numbers that you entered you can go back and check if you entered them accurately. In addition you can change a number if you find a mistake without having to re-enter the entire set of numbers.
In my opinion the small single number display calculators are worthless. If you make a mistake, you may never find the error. Entering the numbers a second time is just as prone to mistakes as entering the set of figures the first time.
the years these have been made by various companies such as Texas Instruments and Sharp. I
sugeest you do an Internet search for "paperless calculator" to find what is currently
6.0.1 ACCOUNTING PAPER AND PENCIL
An accounting pad of paper, sometimes called a "columnar pad" is a cheap and a very useful tool. These specially designed sheets of paper are divided into columns and rows. You can buy paper that has just a few columns or long sheets that have many. These are available at office supply stores and often at Wal-Mart or Kmart.
You should always use a pencil. You are bound to make mistakes, and pens do not erase. I prefer a mechanical pencil which keeps a sharp point. In fact, use a pencil for all your household math.
It may take you a while to get the hang of it, but with this "columnar" paper and pencil you can keep track of just about any account, expense category, or your entire household budget. I find these sheets useful when I have any budget calculations.
When you get really good on paper, transfer your skills to a computer and do the same calculations on a spreadsheet. An accountant I knew recommended, however, that you start and become comfortable working on paper before moving to a computer.
Quicken is one of the most popular computer programs of all times. It will balance your check book, your credit cards and remind you of upcoming bills. If you know how to use a computer, get a copy. If you own an older computer, you might be able to find an older version (which should be cheap).
Whatever software you use, make sure that it can "export" files in a form that is compatible with other programs. In particular, files dealing with numbers and calculations need to be compatible with standard spreedsheet programs.
6.0.3 CHEAP CHECKS
Artistic Checks, a mail order company, can make checks for virtually any account. I get checks for my personal and my business accounts from them. I use two very different styles and colors so I don't get the accounts confused. They are inexpensive, fast and reliable. They also do not charge more for reorders, which most companies do.