What you can do starting today

A recap of your next best steps.

Use these steps to get the most from the money you spend.

First, take control where your money is going. Create a spending plan to help live within your means and avoid running short.
If there’s not enough money to go around, look for ways to decrease your flexible and discretionary expenses and/or increase your income.
Make it a priority to pay your bills on time. There are lots of potential penalties for paying late.
When you shop, always consider whether it’s something you really need. Get creative about making trade-offs.
Before you sign any kind of contract, whether it’s for cell phone service or an apartment lease, make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting into.
And last but not least, spending is fun, but don’t spend everything you earn. Save as much as you can. Start by building up at least two months of take-home pay in savings for an unexpected emergency.

Don’t forget these key points:

  • Create your own spending plan.
  • Always pay your bills on time.
  • Decrease flexible and discretionary expenses.
  • Look for ways to increase income.
  • Consider your needs vs. wants; make tradeoffs.
  • Understand contracts before you sign.
  • Build an emergency fund; save as much as you can.
  • Don’t forget about retirement and savings. The earlier you start, the more money you may have.

You have completed Spending Smart.
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