Manage Your Money

Manage Your Money

No question about it - the financial landscape has become complex. But don’t let overwhelming information and fine print deter you from finding basic financial freedom in your life. With just a little bit of consistent effort and some basic financial understanding, it is still possible (and relatively simple) to build a successful financial future for yourself. The six quick lessons below will give you a start. Understand the basics, put them into practice, and you’ll be on the path to achieving your financial goals. Along the way, you’ll discover lots of web resources and free online to help.

Below are some tools for learning about financial matters, spending plans and debt management. 

This collection was adapted by the folks at Estes Valley Library and is based on a great project they did in parntership with FINRA and the American Library Assocaition.

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What you need to know in order to build a financially secure life is not complicated. In fact, the basics are simple, common sense principles. Later we’ll look at how to put the principles to work in everyday life. First let’s look at the fundamentals. These aren’t tasks: they are concepts to understand and incorporate in your life. The work will be much easier if you understand the guiding principles.

The first principle covered in Understanding Basic Financial Concepts - earn more than you spend – usually is best accomplished when you start tracking how you spend money. No difficult math is involved, and a workable money plan can usually be accomplished within a couple months (devoting just a few minutes a day to the task). Customize the steps below to fit your circumstances.

Once you become skilled in tracking your expenditures and have a good idea what it costs to maintain your life style, you can begin to plan for your future. This is the fun part. It involves establishing attainable goals that will increase your pleasure and security. There are basically three kinds of savings, each categorized by the amount of time you have to save for the goal.

Of all the financially devastating habits practiced by the average American, the worst by far is the accumulation of revolving credit card debt. The average household has more than ten credit cards, carries over $7,000 of revolving debt at over 14% interest, and needlessly pays over $1,000 hard earned dollars per year to the credit card companies.

If you are saving for tomorrow – lesson number three – you will soon accumulate a tidy sum of money. How do you invest those funds to produce a reasonable return, taking advantage of the magical power of compounding so your money grows while you wait? With all that's been written and invented in the financial world, it seems overwhelming. You will be pleased to learn, however, that individual investing is relatively simple. Follow the strategies below, keeping your investments both understandable and productive.

It is absolutely mandatory that every person establish a plan for retirement. No one knows how long his/her life might be (the average right now in the U.S. is 75.6 years for men and 80.8 years for women), and more importantly, it is inappropriate (and risky) to depend on others to take care of you. Of course, it might happen. You might get social security, your children might pay for all your needs, and you might even win the lottery. All those events can contribute to your security in old age, but you should have a firm plan in place to pay for the basics.

Hopefully our Jobhunter's Guide gave you a great starting point for your employment search. The links below will provide even more great info including suggestions for how to manage unemployment.

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