You shell out cash and swipe a credit card on a daily basis, but money can still be a taboo topic. “Since personal finance is not taught in most schools, most of us never learn anything about money before we dive into handling it,” says Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest, a financial planning website. And that’s a recipe for financial disaster. Follow these essential rules to make your money work for you, at any age.
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Tracking your cash is the first step to getting your finances in order, says von Tobel. “Just like keeping a food diary helps you stay on track with a diet, logging your spending will help you stay on track financially,” she says. Start with a money-managing app like LearnVest. It’ll link to your bank account and give you a window into your spending. You can set up a budget to quickly see how your spending stacks up against your goals. You’d be surprised how much seemingly small charges (yes, those $2 ATM fees!) can add up.