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Money Smart Week: Budgeting 101

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The word “budget” often strikes fear in the hearts of many men and women alike. But it doesn’t have to. There are numerous Budgeting “101” presentations taking place around town during Money Smart Week, April 5-12.

What folks attending will learn
1. Why create a budget?  To ensure you are spending your hard earn money on what matters most.
2. How do you create one?  Track your income minus expenses. Use a note pad, excel spreadsheet, internet based tracking - whatever is most comfortable and effective. No. 1 goal: not to spend more than you bring home (i.e. avoid debt).
3. How to stick to a budget? Pay yourself first.  Start saving for retirement by utilizing your employer provided retirement plan.

What are some of the common mistakes people make?
1. Fixed expenses are too high.  Look to minimize long term expenses to adjust to income or lifestyle changes.
2. Simply not saving enough for retirement.  Set yourself up for success by Paying Yourself First.

If your goal is to lose weight, it would be helpful if you were not forced to choose between eating a donut, cheeseburger or the salad with no dressing at each meal.  The same goes for savings - avoid choosing between a vacation, night out on the town, or retirement 5, 10 or 15 years from now.   Invest as much as you can through your employer retirement plan and spend what’s left.

Here are just a few of the remaining budgeting programs during Money Smart Week:

Royal Oak Library 248-246-3715 to RSVP
Wixom Library 248-624-2512 to RSVP
Hazel Park Library 248-546-4095 to RSVP


There are dozens of free, non-commercial financial education events taking place throughout southeast Michigan now through April 12th as part of the Federal Reserve Bank’s national Money Smart Week campaign.  A searchable user-friendly website may be found at www.MoneySmartWeek.org.  Look through all the options, or search by date, topic of interest, county or zip code to find what’s best for you.  

Stay in touch with Money Smart Week on Facebook and “Like” the page.

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