One of the most important money smart skills is to control cash flow monthly. Having negative cash flow monthly is like a having a leaky drain. You have to keep Extra Cash Each Month working harder and harder to keep up because if you stop to take a breath all your money simply disappears. Believe me, I used to live this way every month until I learned how to plug my cash flow monthly leaks.

Typical cash flow monthly leaks:

* Impulse buying of doodads such as new clothes, shoes, or accessories that will be seldom worn

* Eating out for convenience rather than as a special occasion

* Late charges on bill payments or credit cards

* Expensive daily purchase of products such as coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, alcohol or cigarettes

* Paying cash for business expenses and then not recording them

Four Money Smart Habits:

1. Pay all business expenses with a check or a business credit card, which is paid off every month. This allows you to track expenses.

2. Withdraw a certain amount of cash each week and pay for non-business expenses with cash. Do not carry an ATM card. This money smart habit stops you if you are tempted to get extra cash when you have an urge to spend.

3. Keep one personal credit card for paying monthly expenses such as the electric bill, home phone and TV satellite. Keep only the basic channels and rent movies only for special occasions. Don’t keep this card with you so you are not tempted to use it.

4. When you do occasionally carry a business credit card balance transfer this to a lower interest credit line for automatic payment with a set amount until it is paid off. This money smart habit forces you to trim back your spending until the card is paid off.

You may be noticing a pattern here. Set your spending habits so it is harder for you to over spend. Force yourself to cut back when you are not able to pay credit cards in full each month. By plugging cash flow monthly leaks you will be better able to stay out of bad debt and keep your credit rating good while still enjoying a fun, fulfilling life.