IN a world full of economic uncertainties, know this: your money does matter so make it work for you.And, what skills you use to handle or manage your personal financial affairs can either keep your financials on track or, instead, create a financial mess in your life. So what basic financial management skills should you use and incorporate on a regular basis?According to DebtSafe’s spokesperson and debt expert, Matthys Potgieter, there are five financial management skills that you can implement which can have a positive effect on your personal money affairs.1. BUDGETYou must have heard the word BUDGET countless times already, but if you do not make use of a monthly budget you cannot see the bigger picture of your financial position. If you don’t know where to begin, why don’t you start by keeping it simple? Although your budget may differ from others, try and outline a basic one to see what state your personal financials are currently in.2. CREATE POSITIVE CASH FLOWYou won’t get very far with your money if you do not make use of the talents and assets you already own. Renting out that spare bedroom or generating extra money from a baking hobby can add positive cash flow to your current budget or income. 3. IMPLEMENT TACTICS TO AVOID UNNECESSARY SPENDINGAlways try to improve your money psychology and behaviour. Don’t include luxuries in your buys, rather make sure that you take your shopping list with you. When you spend money — use it sparingly and as intended for a purpose. Pay your insurance, for example, as this will be very helpful when the time comes. BUT don’t go wild with the credit card swipes, instead, carry the amount of cash you are “allowed” to use with you when dining out or buying birthday gifts. This can help you to avoid using credit for living expenses or going overboard when spending money on loved ones.4. PROVIDE YOURSELF FINANCIAL GROWTHUp your “knowledge game” and keep up to date with the latest financial news to make informed or improved decisions about your financial future, especially when it comes to investments, alternative ways to boost your income or your consumer rights. 5. USE EFFICIENT METHODS TO LOWER YOUR DEBT • You know yourself better than anybody else. Decide, therefore, if you are going to make use of the snowball method (when you pay your lowest credit instalment/payment off first, like a store card and then tackle your higher interest rate debt such as a credit card). This will motivate you to tick your debt off one by one.• Or if you are a bit more diligent and patient, try the avalanche method, where you pay your highest interest rate (aka biggest) debt off first and then add the same amount to your other debts and pay them off in a jiffy.It is important to stretch yourself and practice the above skills to take better care of your personal finances. These basic financial management skills can surely have a positive effect on your money matters, and also teach you to stay practical and on top of anything relevant to your money or financial goals.