Sometimes managing your money can seem very complicated.

In order to manage money well you have to learn simplify the process so you can keep your financial situation straight and easily understandable.

But you don’t have to be a genius at cipherin’ like Jethro Clampett to keep your money organized and making sense.

6 Money Management Tips

Usually, the biggest complications that keep things disorganized financially arise from not doing a few simple things. When you fail to do some or all of these things, it’s easy for your finances to descend into chaos and start causing serious problems in your life.

So here are six things you can do to start simplifying how you approach your money management and learn to more easily keep it under control:

Track Your Spending: Start writing down every penny you spend for 30 days. Once you do that you start getting the feel for what you’re spending on everything, then you can begin a monthly budget. I know a budget may sound complicated, but if you do it religiously it saves you a lot of time and money in the long run. It may seem a little difficult at first, but it gets much easier the more you do it.

If You’re Married, Combine Your Finances: If you’re married, there shouldn’t be “his” money and “her” money or “his” bills and “her” bills. All of it belongs to both of you, as we say here in the South, It’s yall’s money. So always deposit all of the money into one central account and distribute it from there. Doing that fosters good communication and, along with a budget agreed on by both of you, will eliminate money fights.

Make a “Bills” Calendar: If you have trouble staying organized when it comes to paying bills, make a “bills” calendar showing when each bill is due. Review it once a week and pay the bills due for that week.

Build an Emergency Fund: When you have money set aside for emergencies, you’re not tempted to go into credit card or other debt to deal with it. Everybody has the occasional emergency, and if you are already prepared when it comes, that’s one less thing you will have to worry about in a time of crisis, and you won’t have to spend months or years paying it off.

Use Cash: Goes along with doing a monthly budget. Once your budget is done, put cash in envelopes for each spending category and spend only cash, only out of those envelopes. This simplifies things because you have a set plan to spend only so much, so you don’t end up spending more than you make.

Sell Your Crap: Most of us have too much junk that we don’t need, don’t use, and just takes up space. If you never, or rarely ever use it, then sell it, donate it, or give it to someone that can use it. Those things don’t add value to your life and don’t bring you any joy. All they do is take up space and drag you down. So get rid of the junk and pass it along to someone that can enjoy it.

Money Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

When you take steps to simplify how you handle your financial situation, you start being proactive with your money, and it becomes so much easier to deal with on a daily basis.

Money doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does take diligence and attention to what you’re doing. Finding any way you can to simplify and streamline how you do it will always pay dividends by cutting out lots of time and effort you can better spend doing something much more enjoyable.

Question: What have you done to simplify or streamline your finances?

Article originally published on Celebrating Financial Freedom. Used with permission.

Dr. Jason Cabler is a Christian personal finance blogger, author, and speaker. He teaches how to get out of debt and live a debt free lifestyle through his Celebrating Financial Freedom blog and self study course. His book How to Budget: The Quick and Easy Guide to Making a Budget That Works is now available (more info here). He can be reached for interviews or speaking engagements by email, and can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +.

Publication date: June 9, 2014