Managing your money can be challenging. The key is learning what to do with the money you already have, and the money you earn.
Set Up a Budget** List your income sources; always use after-tax income in your calculations. ** Figure your expenses. ** Set aside 5 percent of your income for savings. ** Subtract your expenses from your income and savings to see how much spending money you have.
Know Your Responsibilities** Learn the difference between gross vs. net income and budget to the latter. ** Calculate expenses you'll have to pay when you're out on your own (rent, car, groceries, utilities, insurance, etc.). ** Get renters insurance, and protect yourself and the things you own for as little as $5 a month. ** Use credit wisely! Bad credit will stick with you for a long time, impacting you when making large purchases, such as a car.
Manage Your Checking Account** Determine how much cash you need weekly and limit your ATM trips to once a week or less. ** Use your debit card whenever possible to avoid ATM fees. ** Use online bill pay and online money transfers where you can. ** Set up overdraft protection on your account.
Invest in Your Future** Have money deducted directly from your paycheck or checking account through electronic funds transfer. ** Establish an emergency fund for car repairs and unexpected expenses. ** Learn how mutual funds can help you compound your earnings over your lifetime ** Invest a little each month with an automatic investment plan that takes funds directly from one of your accounts.
-- Courtesy of USAA