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How Do You Handle Your Finances? Mint’s Personal Finance Roundup

photo: AMagill 

Different strokes for different folks, they say. So when it comes to our finances, it’s often the case that how we go about dealing with our money matters isn’t quite like how other folks may do it. After all, personal finance is…well, personal.

We’ve all got different ways to handle money and it’s typically based on our background and the role models we’ve had in our lives. Many times, our experiences also shape the way we think and work with money. And while there are often broad guidelines with how we can best achieve financial success, getting to that point may take each of us through different routes and experiences.

There’s no absolute “right” way to make your money work for you. With all our diverse circumstances, what works for you may not necessarily work for someone else. The key is to find that approach to money management that fits you well.

Nevertheless, we can always learn a thing or two from the way other people handle their finances. Seeing how others go about their financial tasks can help us change our way of thinking or even help us tweak our own behavior.

So what kind of personal financial value system do you have? Some financial bloggers share with us some of their personal perspectives:

How Do You Deal With Your Finances?

Delayed Gratification

There are common threads in the ways people deal with money. And here we present a great read on one of the most influential factors in financial management: the ability to delay gratification. Punch Debt In The Face shares Marshmallow Test: A Look At Delayed Gratification. If you’re the type who could be profiled as a shopping addict, you may want to read this article. Indeed, your impulse control has a lot of bearing on your ability to grow your wealth.

New System in Order?

Speaking of personal systems, Fiscal Fizzle talks about how managing money may not always be about what new software you’re using. It actually boils down to four ideas that drive home the point, which he lists in his article It’s Rarely About The System. This is an interesting read that may lead you to rethink the way you plot your cash flow.

Factoring in the Fun Stuff

Do you factor the fun things into your personal financial system? Well you should! Fun things are what make life, well, fun. And Sweating The Big Stuff reminds us of how crucial it is to take care of one’s partnership. The question Do You Exchange Gifts With Your Significant Other brings to mind those things that matter most: our relationships. This article brings us back to what’s real and important in life.

The Perfect Salary for Happiness

Since we’re on the topic of contentment and what life is all about — One Money Design asks, What Is The Magic Salary For Happiness? Here’s a pertinent response from The Wall Street Journal: It’s around $75,000. These articles share a surprising result: contentment reaches a plateau when people hit that “magic” level of $75,000. One Money Design reminds us that that happiness goes beyond our salaries, and that job satisfaction plays a bigger role in getting people to stick to their careers and their jobs.

A System That May Not Work For Everyone

Not everything you hear or read about is necessarily etched in stone. Two Pennies Earned challenges some long-held beliefs of coupon users with this piece on Why You Shouldn’t Use Coupons. This just proves that there are exceptions to any rule, and what works for some may not necessarily work for you. Is coupon clipping really worth the savings? Maybe not, if it becomes a headache to deal with or causes you to spend a lot more than you expect.

Making A Budget Work

Money Beagle shares another situation that may not be true for everybody. While some people may be paid every two weeks, others may be paid bi-monthly, or even monthly. If you’re paid every other week, you may be pleased to receive “extra” paychecks for two months in a year. But this system can have a downside, as Money Beagle discusses in his article When That Extra Week Goes Against You. Because of some accounting nuances, this system may do a number on your budgeting schedule, especially if you advere closely to your budget.

Financial Etiquette

How do we approach money matters in a social situation? 50 Plus Finance brings up the matter of financial etiquette and the proper ways to address certain situations that revolve around money issues. Not everyone finds it comfortable to discuss money and finances, so take note of the checklist you find in this article that asks Do You Have Financial Etiquette? This piece gives you a heads up on those potentially awkward situations.

The Bottom Line

We all have our personal ways and approaches to making things work. The financial strategies we follow and the systems we embrace are there to make things easier for us to function. The things we learn about personal finance are usually just basic guidelines we can adapt to help us manage our finances better. Sometimes, learning about how others handle their money can give us ideas on how to improve our own personal financial system. Are you happy with how your system works?

Silicon Valley Blogger (SVB) runs The Digerati Life and The Smarter Wallet, where she writes about  general personal finance topics such as investing, budgeting, debt management and small business ideas.