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Money Management Resources For All

Budgeting offers many benefits to individuals and families alike. When you create an effective budget, you can ensure that all of your bills are paid in full and on time. You can also use your budget to put money away for college or retirement. Finally, budgeting allows you to take control of your finances and eliminate the uncertainty associated with living from one paycheck to the next. Below are some resources and tips you can use to create and implement a budget for your expenses.

Student Budgeting

While living as a student, you will usually have less money and resources than during other times of your life. For this reason, it is even more important to create an accurate household budget. When you create a student budget, you may include expenses such as tuition, books, housing, transportation, and miscellaneous needs. You may also include a small allocation for entertainment.

Budget Calculator for College Students: This student calculator helps analyze a full-time student's budget for an 8 month school year.

How-To Budget - a Guide for College Students: This is a how-to guide on student budgeting that every student can benefit from.

Budget Calculator: This budget calculator is to help create a personalized spending plan. Budgeting: This site has information on budgeting and how to save money whether you are in school or out on your own.

Student Budget Calculator: This calculator allows students to create a budget based on their educational expenses for the year.

Ways to Stretch Your Student Budget: An article that provides tips for living on a small income as a student.

Home Budgeting

Creating a budget for the home involves determining your gross income, the expenses you must pay each month, and the expenses that are optional. You should also try to put aside a certain amount of money each month for savings purposes. If you still have money left over, you can invest it or use it to pay down loans and credit cards. If possible, try to set aside some money for entertainment. Leaving no money for entertainment may make it harder for you to stick with your budget.

Cash Course: A site offering a wide variety of information about creating a budget, dealing with debt, and more.

Budget Tools: A page with links to several worksheets you can use to identify expenses and create your budget.

Sample Income and Expenses Worksheet: Step-by-step instructions for creating an income and expenses worksheet.

Ten Steps to Making a Financial Budget: An article describing the procedure for creating an effective household budget.

Creating a Budget: A website designed to assist in the creation of household budgets.

How to Make a Budget: An article that describes budgeting and provides reasons for creating an effective budget.

Investing

When you create your budget, you should include provisions for investing whenever possible. Making wise investment choices allows you to plan for your future. You can use investing to pay for your children's college expenses, or you may use the money for retirement. Investing your money also provides a measure of security in case you encounter financial problems in the future.

Four Basic Tips Before You Invest: An article providing insight into investments.

A Beginner's Guide to Stocks: Basic information about investing in stocks.

Certificates of Deposit: Tips for individuals investing in CDs.

Investing 101: Tips for beginner investors.

Investment Types: A page describing different investment opportunities.

Saving for Retirement: An article discussing options for retirement planning.

Debt Management

Even with the best budgeting techniques, it is still possible to accumulate debt. You may have credit card debt, student loans, mortgages, or other types of outstanding balances. The key to debt management is to minimize interest rates and repay debts over short terms when possible. Below are some tools you can use to manage your debt.

Debt Strategies and Debt Management: An article discussing various debt management strategies.

Debt Management: Step-by-step instructions for developing a debt management plan.



For People on Debt Management Plans: Advice from the Federal Trade Commission about dealing with debt management companies.

How-To Guide - Reduce Your Debt: Tips for getting out of debt.

Avoiding Bankruptcy: An article offering advice on how to avoid bankruptcy.

Credit Repair

Your credit score is extremely important in determining what loans you can obtain in the future. Without a decent credit score, you can't buy a home or a car. Your credit score will also determine the interest rate banks and other lenders will charge you. To improve your credit score, you must make your payments on time, avoid exorbitant amounts of debt, and minimize hard inquiries on your credit report.



Tips for Improving Your Credit Score (PDF): Powerful tips you can use to raise your credit score.

How to Improve Your Credit Score: Hints for improving your credit score over time.

Credit Score Myths: Several debunked myths about credit scores.

Improve Your Credit Score: Basic information about credit scores and how to improve them.

Credit Issues and Bad Credit: Resources from Transunion focusing on common credit problems.

Calculators

Completing your budget by hand is sometimes difficult. Fortunately, there are several calculators available online that can help you with the task. These calculators cover everything from expenses to debt management. Below are several of the best online calculators for budgeting, investing, and debt.



Debt Calculator: A calculator that depicts the financial impact of your current debt situation.

Do I Have Too Much Debt?: A calculator that determines your overall debt level.

Car Loan Calculator: A calculator that determines car loan payments based on interest rate and price.

A Budget for Today and Tomorrow: An interactive budgeting worksheet.

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