There’s a Tip Here for Everybody

Spend 101

The title of this post could also be Spend 101. It is a short list of basic practices that, if followed, will almost guarantee that you can meet your financial goals. There is nothing here that we haven’t heard before at one time, or another. But, even though we see this advice from time to time, it is an unusual person indeed that follows the list to the letter consistently.

Therefore the goal of this post is to get you to adapt one, just one, hint or tip that you are not currently using. Then maybe, in the future, you may start using another, and so on. But all that is in the future. For now, look at the list from MyMoney.gov/Spend, and pick just one new action to start using. Surely that can’t be too hard.

From MyMoney.gov on Spend

Spend

The fundamental concept of Spend is: make a budget or a plan for using your money wisely. It’s helpful to set short and long-term financial goals and manage your money to meet them.

Actions You Can Take

  • Live within your means.
  • Be a smart shopper, and compare prices and quality.
  • Track your spending habits and develop a budget or spending plan.
  • Plan for short-term and long-term financial goals.

Hints and Tips

  • A good way to take control of your spending is to set the maximum amounts you plan to spend each week or each month. Once you’ve set the maximum, stick with your plan.
  • It’s helpful to track your spending over a few weeks or months to get a handle on how you are using your dollars and cents. Look into using on-line systems or phone apps for keeping track of your spending – you will be amazed at what you’ll learn about your habits! (editor’s note: The Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union offers the use of MoneyDesktop Software free to members)
  • Be careful not to let a sale or discount coupon persuade you to purchase something you don’t really need and that isn’t in your spending plan.
  • When planning a big purchase, take time to comparison shop and check prices at a few different stores, by phone or online.

That’s it. Pick something you’re not doing, or not doing well, and make it part of your regular spending process. If you are going to increase your attention to budgeting, take a look at MoneyDesktop. You can learn more on the Tri-Town Teachers web site.

Was this helpful? What would you like to see? Give us a comment. We want to hear from you.

 

 

Good Advice for Young People Just “Leaving the Nest”

Setting Out on Your Own: Money Management and Credit 101

by Colleen Tressler
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Consumer Information Blog
August 20, 2013

Whether you’re heading off to your freshman year of college or getting your first apartment, preparing to be out on your own can be fun and exciting. It also means taking on new financial responsibilities. The decisions you make now about how you manage your money can affect your ability to get credit, insurance, a place to live, and even a job.

The first step toward taking control of your financial situation is to do a realistic evaluation of how much money you take in and how much money you spend. Start by listing your income from all sources. Then, list your “fixed” expenses — those that are the same each month — like rent, car payments, and insurance premiums. Next, list the expenses that vary — like entertainment, recreation, and clothing.

Writing down all your expenses, even those that seem insignificant, is a helpful way to track your spending patterns, identify necessary expenses, and prioritize the rest. The goal is to make sure you can make ends meet on the basics.

When you apply for a credit card, a personal loan, or insurance, a file about you is created.This file, known as your credit report, is maintained by credit reporting companies. Your report will grow to include information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve ever been sued, or filed for bankruptcy.

Credit reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, landlords, insurers, employers, and other businesses with a legitimate need for it. They use the information to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a place to live.

Order a free copy of your credit report to make sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for a loan for a major purchase like a car, buy insurance, or apply for a job.

You also want a copy of your credit report to help guard against identity theft. That’s when someone uses your personal information — like your name, your Social Security number, or your credit card number — to commit fraud. Identity thieves may use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or a job… 

To view the complete article, please click here.