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Managing Money Program

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Simple Tips to Stress Less

  • Be realistic. If you’re working an entry-level job, don’t expect to buy designer shoes and fancy meals every week.

  • Be tough. Learn to say no or find creative replacements for pricey items or experiences.

  • Reassess often. Look over spending and reevaluate every 1–2 months.

Always Going Over? Try These Strategies:

  • Evaluate your lifestyle honestly. To make ends meet, it may be necessary to cancel magazine subscriptions, stop ordering out for lunch, or forego cable TV.

  • Reorganize your “lifestyle choices” budget. Prioritize and allocate more money for stuff you enjoy (e.g., going out to eat versus shopping).

  • Try a cash budget. Each month, allocate specific amounts of cash for things like food, bars, movies, and clothing, and divide the money among labeled envelopes. When an envelope’s empty, you’re done spending for the month.

Budget Fun: How to Socialize and Save

  • Entertain at home. Ask buddies to chip in for booze (or BYO) and crank up the jams.

  • Get outside. Parks are free (and pretty) venues for socializing. Bring some games or sports equipment, a picnic, and some tunes.

  • Do your homework. Many cities and towns offer free cultural events (museums, art shows, concerts, movies, etc.) every week.

  • Think outside the box. You don’t need to spend money to hang with friends. Instead of meeting a pal for coffee, ask them to join you for a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood.


  • Many financial planning resources recommend saving 20 percent of each paycheck each month. Start out adding those savings to a “rainy day fund” for emergencies (or sudden unemployment) that contains between three and six months of net pay. Once the emergency fund is sufficiently stocked, put the monthly 20 percent towards longer-term goals—a house, a car, or a luxurious vacation.

  • For many people just scraping by, putting away that much sounds superhuman, if not totally impossible. But rest easy! Saving doesn’t have to be Herculean.

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