One of the biggest areas a lot of people struggle in is money management. We live in a world of "Buy it now, pay for it later." I remember going to college and being thrown credit card applications as I walked around my first day of college. Luckily I was scared to get a credit card so I never had one. Lee and I entered our marriage with no debt thanks to our family paying for college as well as good teaching about money.
Even with all of that, we've always lived on one income and have had to be careful about our spending.
Here are a few tips that we have learned:
#1 - Try really hard to have as little debt as possible. I know this is easier said than done, but we only have a mortgage, a van payment, and a couch payment. Our goal is to only have a mortgage payment, but we needed a van (Lee's car was on it's last leg and we were having more children and needed something with more space) and couch (our couch was like 20 years old and was disgusting - we did a same as cash plan and put money down on it). If you have debt, make a plan to pay it off little by little (even if it's just $20 a month extra).
#2 - Try to plan purchases. Again, I know this is easier said than done, but if you really think about what you will need, you can save the money as you can and then purchase the items with the allocated funds. This helps with #1. For instance, we figured up we spend about $1,200 on Christmas presents each year, so we are trying to put away $100 a month all year to cover that expense.
#3 - Make a liveable budget and stick to it. Again, I know this is easier said than done, but it really helps to have a plan for how you are going to spend your money and it helps to see where it goes each month. I did an entire post on the topic of creating a budget http://organizedhomemaking.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-create-household-budget.html and how to stick to it http://organizedhomemaking.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-stick-to-budget.html.
#4 - Have an organized way to pay your bills. I wrote an entire post on the topic http://organizedhomemaking.blogspot.com/2010/02/organized-bill-paying.html.
I hope these tips have helped.