You don't have to be a financial expert to be good with money. Anyone can take steps to develop good money habits and achieve greater financial flexibility and freedom! It all starts with spending wisely and managing your money effectively.
What does it mean to spend and manage your money wisely?
Spending wisely is more than just keeping track of your bills. It's a way of life! Spending less than your income and paying your bills on time and in full allows you to save for future needs. Aligning your spending habits with what matters most to you will help you reach your biggest money goals.
Are you ready to get started on your journey to spending wisely? Here are some tips to help you:
Track your spending—every dollar!
Before you can manage your money wisely, you need to understand where your money goes each month. That's why tracking your spending is so important! Save your receipts and write each purchase in a notebook. Or, use a digital tool like Money Management to track and categorize your spending. Money Management will give you a very clear picture of your spending habits, which you can use to create an accurate monthly budget.
Look for expenses to adjust, reduce or eliminate
As you evaluate your spending, identify room for change. Do your purchases match your priorities? Which categories could you trim to save more money? It can help to list your expenses in order from “must-have" to “nice-to-have."
Give your money a purpose
If you don't have specific goals for your money, you might end up spending any extra funds you have leftover at the end of the month. But by giving your money a dedicated purpose, you can use it to help you live the life you want to live!
What goals do you have for your money? It could be boosting your emergency fund, upgrading your car, paying for a child's education, taking a dream vacation or even donating to the causes you care about.
Once you bring your goals into focus, open secondary savings accounts and name them for each goal. This will help you make a plan for your extra money, including any additional income you receive through raises, bonuses or your tax refund.
Learning to spend and manage money wisely takes practice. When you're first getting started, you'll probably need to make adjustments to your budget and spending habits in order to meet your goals. Stay flexible and try to make money management part of your daily routine—it's worth it!
For more tips on spending wisely, view our Spend & Mange Wisely Brochure here.
At WPCU we want to help you succeed in your journey to spending wisely. We have a variety of helpful tools to make it easier, including budgeting worksheets and spreadsheets, spending tips and interactive learning modules for spending and managing your money.