Could you be saving more money for tomorrow?

Balancing Your family’s expenses and income

In these economic times, when the cost of housing, food, and transportation may be nearly 60 percent of your income, it’s hard to save for retirement, education, and emergencies.

Setting priorities can help you make financial decisions that are right for your family.

Here are some basics tips to keep in mind in trying to reach your family’s financial goals:

Basic tips table
Tip 1: Identify short- and long-term financial needs such as home repairs that can’t wait another year, the college education that’s six years away, or your retirement. Then budget accordingly.

Tip 2:  Determine whether you can cut out certain expenses so that you’ll have more money for savings and investments. Think about what you could save by going to the movies and dinner twice a month instead of four times or by vacationing more economically. Saving a few hundred dollars here and there can pay off in the long run.

Tip 3: No matter how old you are, saving for retirement is essential. Even if you can’t afford to put much away right now, saving even a small amount each month is better than saving nothing.

Tip 4: Be aware of impulse buying. Passing up unnecessary purchases isn’t always easy. But if you’ve set specific goals, you can make spending decisions that will keep you on the right track. Learn how resisting short-term impulses can lead to long-term gratification.

Tip 5: Do your best to live within your means. It’s tempting to buy things you want but can’t afford. However, keeping spending in line with what you earn will not only give you a sense of financial security but also help you avoid debt that makes it harder to reach your goals.

Taking the time now to set priorities will help you reach your financial goals later.