a Lot to Learn about Money
"No matter who you are, making informed decisions about what to do with your money will help build a more stable financial future for you and your family." - Alan Greenspan
It's possible to meet your financial goals - whether your income is small, medium or large.
By looking for good information on managing your finances, along with choosing to budget, save and use credit wisely, you can:
No matter who you are, you can take charge of your financial future. Start today!
To get you started, here are some simple tips.
Most people who have money didn't get it overnight. They set goals and worked hard to reach them.
TRY THIS: Write down your short-term and long-term goals. An example of a short-term goal is saving up for holiday gifts; a long-term goal is saving for a home.
Develop a Budget
Find out where your money is going. Unless you're tracking your money, it's probably not going where you really want it to.
TRY THIS: Write down your total monthly take-home pay. Then list your monthly expenses. At the end of the month, subtract those expenses from your total pay.
TIP: Carry a small notebook. Write down everything you spend. Include small things like candy bars.
Small amounts of money saved regularly add up fast. Compound interest, which lets you earn interest on interest, will make your savings grow even faster.
TRY THIS: Open a savings account. Have part of your paycheck deposited directly into your savings account every month.
TIP: The earlier in life you start saving, the more you'll have later.
Manage Credit Wisely
Borrowing can help you meet your long-term goals for an education, car or home. But borrowing for day-to-day needs and wants gets many people into financial trouble.
TRY THIS: Before using your credit card, getting a payday loan, renting-to-own or borrowing against your home's equity, ask yourself if you really need to borrow the money.
TIP: THE MINIMUM
* Assuming a 14% interest rate
and minimum payment of 1.5% of the outstanding balance.
Protect Your Credit Rating
Lenders use credit reports to decide whether to loan money. Insurance companies, landlords and employers also check credit reports. A report that shows defaults or late payments- even 30 days late-can mean not getting a loan or paying a higher interest rate.
TRY THIS: Find out your credit
rating. Call a credit bureau for a copy of your report.
Get the Best Deal
When you borrow money, you have a right and a responsibility to know all the loan's terms and conditions. Ask questions and compare interest rates and fees. Know what's at stake if you don't make your payments.
TRY THIS: Before you borrow money, ask these questions:
AND THIS: Shop around and compare. Don't get taken.
TIP: SAVE MONEY WITH THE RIGHT LOAN
the Lowest Rate
Choose the Shortest Term
Getting the right information can help you gain control of your finances.
TRY THIS: When you need information, make sure the source is reliable.
Learn More About Money
There's a lot to learn about money,
and there's plenty of free information available. The Federal Reserve
education web site, www.federalreserveeducation.org,
offers personal financial education information and links to many useful
TRY THIS: Look for organizations in your community that can help you learn more about setting financial goals, budgeting, saving, using credit wisely and getting the best deal. Here are some possibilities:
Get the Savvy Consumer Newsletter! (FREE)