Money Basics

Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce? Ralph Waldo Emerson Poet

Financial education fosters financial stability and success for individuals, families, and communities. The more people learn about managing their finances, the more likely they are to increase their savings, buy homes, and attain financial freedom.

Tip #1: Define and prioritize realistic financial goals.

You may have a short-term savings goal for a vacation or a long-term savings goal for a child's college fund or retirement; maybe the goal is freedom from debt within a specified timeframe; or any of thousands of other financial objectives that are specific to you and your family. If they are realistically defined and prioritized, they are WAY more likely to be achieved!

Tip #2: Plan a budget to help meet your goals.

Analyze your spending to make sure that you are living within your means, and identify ways to spend wisely.

There are a number of tools and resources available to plan your financial future, create a budget, and hold yourself accountable. Washington Financial offers a free money management tool to help you track and monitor your spending. FinanceWorks is available through online banking and connects to thousands of other financial institutions and creditors to provide a complete view of your overall financial picture.

Tip #3: Hold yourself accountable.

Monitor your progress and continue to focus on attaining your overall goals.

Creating and sticking to a budget doesn't have to be painful. Give yourself a few months to fine tune your budget and track your actual spending. While you are keeping yourself focused on your financial "big picture," the regular monitoring of your finances will quickly become a valuable routine.

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