Manage Your Finances

Do you know how to make good choices with your money? Do you have the skills needed to save or to make a budget?

No matter how much money you have, you should keep track of how much money is coming in and where you spend your money. It is also important to know how much you need to save for the future.

Tips for staying financially healthy while looking for work:

  • Create a personal or family budget. You can use the worksheet provided in this guide or talk to a financial counselor. Doing this will help you plan for today and the future. Use calculators and online tools. 
  • Learn how to manage your credit and debt.
  • Save part of your money for emergencies and long-term goals.
  • Think about which of your career choices will pay you enough money. You need to pay for housing, car payments or public transit, health care, and other bills. Use a budget tool to match your job choices to your budget.

How to create a personal budget.
Make plans for your money that fit your needs today and in the future. If you are not working, make a budget anyway.

Make copies of a “Personal Budget” in the next section. You can create a budget to use now, then make others that show how much money you might earn and spend in a few years. See how your money plans change when you add or cut expenses. You can also change your income to make a different budget.

Look at your current budget.
If you have a partner or children, plan your money together.

  • Do you have enough for savings and the things you need?
  • Can you spend less on the things that are “nice to have” but not needed?
  • Where can you cut costs?

Sometimes people eat out less or buy fewer supplies. Sometimes people learn to live without cable TV or use a cheaper cell phone plan. If you have long-term goals, think about how to budget for them.

More resources to manage your finances

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