OVERVIEW

Money management is one of the most important parts of your financial life. Knowing how to how to budget, spend and save can help you reach your financial goals, get out of debt, and build your savings. In this resource, you will learn how to manage your money and find tips to help you get to where you want to be financially.


HOW TO MANAGE MONEY

The main areas to manage your money are budgeting, managing spending, saving, and getting out of debt.

A budget shows you a summary of your income and expenses. A budget will show you how much income you make and compares it to how much you spend, or expenses.

There are different types of spending, however. One is called non-discretionary expenses, which includes expenses that are required to live. The other is call discretionary expenses, which include eating out and entertainment.

Managing your spending allows you to track where and how you spend your money. Using your budget can help you see where you can make.

Saving is a key to financial independence and building wealth. Think of saving as giving a gift, or paying a reward, to yourself. Building up savings doesn’t happen overnight.

For more information, visit the Budgeting and Saving resource or download the Spending Habits Checklist to help you track and save.

Getting out of debt can be tough. There are things you can do to help get you there, like:

  • Sticking to a budget
  • Saving more and spending less
  • Consolidating high-interest loans into one, low-interest loan

For more information, please check out the Tips for Dealing with Debt resource.


money management tips

There are many things you can do to help manage money. Below are some tips to help you reach your goals.

FOUR SIMPLE TIPS

Getting comfortable with these four tips may help you meet your monthly bills, have a good handle on where your money goes each month, and build a solid plan for meeting future financial goals.


50/30/20

The 50/30/20 rule is a simple budget tool that can help you figure out how much money to save and spend. The infograph below breaks down the details of the 50/30/20 rule.

infograph stating the 50, 30, 20 rule with Needs, Wants and Increase Savings / Reducing Debt

sPENDING tips

Make the most of the money you have by paying attention to how the little things add up. Before spending, ask yourself:

  • Do I really need it?
  • What if I don’t buy it now?
  • Can I buy this at a lower cost?
  • Resist impulse buying
  • Make a shopping list
  • Shop with your spending plan in mind
  • Limit the cash you carry
  • Watch for sales and wait for the right prices
  • Look for coupons and rebates
  • Consider buying generic goods instead of name brands
  • Take advantage of grocery and drug store savings cards for customers

There are other important tips, like being creative to save money and avoiding high cost loans and fees that you also want to keep in mind.

shopping bag icon

MONEY SAVING TIPS

Think about ways you might be able to obtain something you want at a lower cost or even free. For example, you might be able to see a play or hear a concert by volunteering to usher. Or you might get some friends together in order to qualify for a volume or group discount.

Paycheck (payday loans) and tax refund loans are examples of high-cost, short-term loans that you should avoid. These loans typically have high interest rates and fees. Some payday loans may have automatic rollovers, which increases their costs and disguises the fact you are paying more interest on these loans over time.

Is this item something you want or truly need? Think about how it fits into your budget. Ask yourself what needs you are trying to fill by making this purchase.

Figure out how much you can afford to spend on this purchase and still cover your other expenses. If it doesn’t fit into your budget then don’t buy it.

Shop around. Do your research to find the best price to make the most of your money. Remember the Rule of 3 and comparison shop. Check at least three stores to compare prices, models, warranties, and return policies. Shopping around using ads, newspapers, and the internet helps save you time, effort, and money.

Look for the features and quality you want, good customer service, a fair price, and a flexible return policy. Sometimes the best overall value is better than the purchase price.

You may be eligible for discounts if you have a valid student, military or other organization memberships. Research the benefits and ask stores what cards they honor for discounts. Some grocery and drug stores offer savings cards for customers.

Some stores and businesses offer their employees a special discount on merchandise. You might consider getting a seasonal job at a store where you plan to do your holiday shopping, for example.

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