Monday, June 20, 2011

Success on a Budget

Do you have a spending plan for yourself or your household? If yes, then you’ve made a smart move that more Michigan residents would be wise to follow.

Currently, only 67% of Michiganders have spending plans, according to a recent MSU study. Among those who have plans, most never change them despite facing unemployment or other economic difficulties.

If you don’t have a spending plan, now is the time to create one.  Budgeting is beneficial during good times and critical during tough times.  Fortunately, preparing a budget can be relatively easy. Here are a few quick tips.

Make sure you know how much you’re actually spending each month. Create a list of expenses, and if you’re not sure how much you spend on casual items like coffee, snacks and dining out, try keeping a log for the month. You might be surprised how fast these purchases add up.

Take advantage of online tools to help organize your finances.  For example, Mint.com offers a free and easy to use budgeting tool. Also recommended by Consumer Reports are Buxfer.com and Geezeo.com.

Remember to include savings and emergencies in your budget. Setting aside a little of each paycheck in a separate account will help you prepare for the future.

Once you create your budget, monitor and adjust it regularly, recommends Professor Lisa D. Cook with MSU’s Department of Economics.

Budgeting is also a good way to teach children to manage money wisely, and helpful resources are available for young adults, such as BrassMagazine.

Most important is to start now, and Community Financial can help. To open a savings account, visit one of our convenient locations or call us at (877) 937-2328 and we’ll be happy to assist you.



Posted by: Community Financial
Community Financial Members Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, full-service financial institution owned and governed by its membership.

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