Please read the article “Make a Plan to Manage Personal Finances” by Michael Scheibach found in the Topic 6 resources. This article lists 10 money-saving strategies. Choose three of these strategies and discuss how they will help your personal budget? What additional tips or budgeting strategies do you use that were not mentioned in this article?


ccording to a recent study by the National
Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC),
one in five Americans could not make ends
meet without the use of credit. In fact, 22 per-
cent of respondents said they would have to

make significant lifestyle changes if required to live
on a cash-only basis. Based on recent Federal Reserve
statistics, the average U.S. household credit card debt
is $15,000. Even more alarming, the total credit card
debt for all Americans is more than $880 billion Ð
yes, billion with a “b.”

So what can you do? Here are 10 tips to help man-
age your personal finances.
1. Develop a Household Budget Ð Businesses do

this, but many people do not. Sit down and create a
monthly budget. Identify how much money is coming
in and how much is going out. Your budget may not
be balanced, but that’s okay for now. The first step is
getting a handle on financial matters.

2. Prioritize Your Spending Ð Oftentimes, purchases
are made without thinking through their overall im-
portance. Something as simple as identifying your
required monthly payments, such as rent or house
payment, then your essential purchases, such as
food or transportation, will help you better un-
derstand how much money is available for so-called
discretionary purchases.

3. Create a Wait-and-See List Ð Everyone has pur-
chased items on the spur of the moment only to
regret the purchase later. A good practice is to
wait at least 24 hours before making a purchase
of something you see in a store or online. You’d be
surprised how often the item or service becomes
less important over time.

4. Keep a Calendar for Bill Payments Ð Even if you
are in credit card debt, you don’t want to be delin-
quent on payments, which only hurts your credit
ratings and leads to possible actions by creditors.
Make a monthly calendar that lists when payments
are due and the amount of the minimum payment.
Then plan accordingly.

5. Cook at Home Ð According to one study, Americans
eat 4.2 commercially prepared meals per week, or
more than 18 meals eaten outside the home each
month. What if you could cut this in half ? Eating
out, once was a luxury or special occasion. Times
have changed; however, if you want to improve
your personal finances, this is a simple way to save
real dollars.

6. Always Compare Prices Ð In many ways, this is a
consumer-driven economy. In other words, it is get-
ting easier and easier to compare prices among stores
and among products. Once you find something you
want to purchase (after the 24-hour rule), then begin

Consumer Corner, a new feature in Massachusetts Banker, is intended to be copied from the magazine’s digital
edition and used by banks in your own magazine, newsletter, email, or on your website. (Click on the Consumer
Corner title above). Using the special language translation feature from Google, you can even translate it for
your foreign language speaking customers. Feel free to copy and sh

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