Featured Image While you may not have control over the economy, you do have control over the actions that you take. Compliments of BALANCE, here are 10 ways to manage your finances. Keep track of your spending. If you know where your money is going it will be easier to make changes if you need to. Try using BALANCE's Fritter Finder form for a week or two to find out where your money is going. Separate wants from needs. Do you really need that 42-inch flat screen television? When money is tight it should not be spent unless absolutely necessary. Avoid using credit to pay your bills. While it may make things easier now, using credit only increases your monthly payments in the future. Save regularly. Have some of your paycheck directly deposited into your savings account or set up an automatic transfer each month from your checking to your savings account. Check your insurance policies. Review the coverage for all your plans. You may have too much and be wasting money or too little and not be adequately covered. Virginia CU Insurance Services can help you find the best coverage at the best price. Be careful about spending a significant amount of money on periodic purchases, like gifts and vacation. While you may feel good while you are spending the money, you may wish you had the money later. Cut or downgrade your services. Can you get a cheaper cable package or have no cable at all? If you have a cell phone consider cutting your land line. Try lowering your energy bill. Turn off appliances and lights when they are not needed. Purchase energy-efficient light-bulbs. When you can, use a fan instead of air conditioning or put on a sweater instead of turning on the heat. Consider signing up for online bill payment. Not only will you save on stamps, but you can make sure your payments are received on time. VACU's online Bill Pay is free for members. Cut down on take-out ordering. Even if the meal is not expensive, doing it frequently can really add up. A $10 pizza once a week will cost you over $500 a year!