Learning how to properly manage your personal finances is an essential skill that will reduce your stress and improve your quality of life. Good budgeting doesn’t have to be painful if you follow these tips and suggestions.
- Identify spending habits. Look at past months and flag any problem areas like frequent unnecessary spending. How often do you eat out? How much money do you spend a week on meals or snacks you would have at home or pack up for work or school? How much do you spend on clothes,
accessories, electronic equipment, or entertainment? Ask yourself the following two questions about purchases: is it something I actually need or want? Does a particular purchase mean that I have to
forgo something I really need.
- Create a budget. Though it may seem obvious, it is an essential step many consumers skip. Now that you know how much you spend on different items, set limits for each category. Make sure to budget for fun things too, not just rent and bills.
- Stick to the budget. Remember your goals the next time you are out spending money, and try to think long term. An easy way to do this may be to automatically put away a little bit of money each paycheck or month into a savings account or 401K. Not only will you be able save up for big-ticket items, but you’re investing in your own financial security.
Make sure you’re tracking your spending regularly, especially small day-to-day expenses, which can really add up. In the end, budgeting is really about being thoughtful with your money—make sure you’re using it efficiently. There are a number of tools that can help with this. Microsoft has a free personal budgeting spreadsheet available here, while personal finance apps such as Mint make keeping track of your purchases very easy and allow you to manage your money from your computer, smartphone or tablet.
We encourage consumers to keep these tips in mind when managing their money this year. Make sure to check back regularly for more personal finance tips.
Just Hang Up! posted on Jan 19
Americans carry a considerable amount of credit card debt. According to NerdWallet, the average U.S. household debt is nearly $16,000, while the average interest rate is 13 percent. Unfortunately, consumers who struggle to get out from under their credit card debt often fall victim to …Continue Reading Just Hang Up!
Child Identity Theft posted on Jan 17
When most people think of identity theft fraudulent credit card purchases and stolen drivers licenses typically come to mind. Child identity theft, though, is quickly growing and can be dangerous and damaging long-term. According to a 2011 report from Carnegie Mellon, 10 percent of …Continue Reading Child Identity Theft
Coming to a Channel Near You: NBC Boston posted on Jan 10
Do you like to watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon or Sunday Night Football? NBC’s contract with WHDH-TV (also known as Channel 7) expired at the end of 2016. For many viewers this change had no impact on their television watching. But for viewers …Continue Reading Coming to a Channel Near You: NBC Boston