financial literacy education

In money management, low income should not be considered as the root of your financial troubles. It’s about focusing your cost-cutting and budgeting skills on assets your household and your family members can do without, because your income simply cannot afford them.

You don't need to be a financial wizard to control your personal finances. Just a little common sense and a few money management tips to enable you to live within your means as you increase your wealth.

However, before you can sensibly apply money management tips, it's helpful to be familiar with a few money management terms.

  • Money is any common medium of exchange.
  • Wealth is the total of everything you own that has value. Your wealth is essentially your money.
  • Debt is an obligation to pay or do something.
  • Net Worth is the difference between what you own (your wealth) and what you owe (your debt).

Learning effective money management not only enables you to live comfortably within your means, but also helps you to increase your wealth. Use these two money management tips to begin your journey of controlling your money!

  1. Know what you have
    Before you can live within your means, you need to know what your means are. Start money management by taking stock of your money. You'll probably be surprised at how rich you really are!
    • As well as the cash in your pocket or purse, include piggy bank cash, bank balances, and available credit from credit cards. (Lines of credit, such as overdraft protections and available credit from credit balances, are additional resources we can use to purchase goods and services. At first look, they appear to be a part of our money. However, credit always belongs to the creditor. When we tap into these financial resources, they decrease our spending power over the long haul with finance charges, fees, and interest that increase our debt.)
    • Go on a treasure hunt to find lost money. Look in coat and trouser pockets, through Birthday and other greeting cards, jewelry boxes, dresser drawers, under furniture cushions, behind and under furniture, in your freezer, and under your mattress!
    • Although our money is an asset and all of our assets are types of our money, generally we're more inclined to think of assets as property.

However although all of our possessions are parts of our wealth that we can turn into cash, usually they are the types of our money that we want to protect from creditors. For instance, you probably don't want to sell your car or cash in a valuable coin collection to pay a bill. Yet, the ability to convert property to cash is a good concept to remember in identifying and effectively managing your money.

Some assets like vehicles and appliances depreciate (decrease in value) over time. Yet, while they don't increase spending power, you can turn them into cash.

Long-term assets like real estate holdings, investments, and personal property such as collections, artworks, and antiques appreciate (increase in value) over time and actually enable us to save money and increase our wealth.

2. Set up a realistic budget and stick to it. 

Ready to budget? Use our budget calculator!

Enter whole dollar amounts (no cents)
Do not use comma's of $1000 values

Income

Monthly Gross Earnings    
Subtract 28% for average withholdings    
Monthly net income    

Expenses

Housing Grocery Items
Utilities Savings
Medical Insurance Clothing
Student Loans Other Credit
Misc. Expenses Entertainment
Transportation Expenses Child Care
    Monthly Expenses
    Annual Expenses

Results

Monthly Net Income Monthly Discretionary Income
Subtract Monthly Expenses Annual Discretionary Income