Spending and Saving
People use different strategies to manage their money. Some people plan their spending for today and tomorrow. Others prefer to spend their money without planning, which may result in financial problems.
Ideally, everyone would have savings funds that help make short-, medium-, or long-term goals a reality. Unfortunately, many have a hard time meeting daily needs, let alone saving for the future.
No matter your situation, the following resources will help you manage your spending and savings to better meet your goals.
Tips and Tools
Discounted Entertainment for Families — Get ideas for discounted, low-cost, and free entertainment options to get your family out and about in your community.
Plan to Save: It's "Paying Yourself First" — Saving money is "paying yourself first."
All About Prize-Linked Savings Accounts — Prize-linked savings accounts are now available through participating Minnesota credit unions. These accounts encourage saving by giving customers a chance to win cash prizes.
Holiday Spending — Develop a game plan ahead of time to avoid holiday debt.
Planning for Non-Monthly Expenses — Learn to set spending target goals and determine what to put aside for unplanned expenses.
Wants Versus Needs — Before you go to the mall or a favorite online store, understand the difference between wants and needs.
Are You the Owner of Unclaimed Property? — Right now, the state of Minnesota is holding millions of dollars in unclaimed property, or more precisely, unclaimed funds. Find out whether some of that money may belong to you.
Download and Print
Have You Started to Save? (207 K PDF) — This Financial Literacy Guide provides tips and links to additional resources for starting to save, reducing debt, avoiding scams, and more. A collaboration of the Minnesota Department of Commerce and University of Minnesota Extension.
Adjusting to Suddenly Reduced Income (9.87 MB PDF) — Take into account the financial, emotional, and social aspects of sudden income loss.
Listen and Learn
Compounding is Like Magic — What does compounding mean and how does it help you save money faster? Transcript and audio (1:45)
Prepaid Debt Cards vs Bank Account Debit Cards — Using "plastic money" can be handy but think about how the card will be used. Transcript and audio (1:55)
Gift Card Use Tips — Gift cards have become a practical and acceptable way to give. Transcript and audio (1:50)
The Benefits of Using Cash — People spend more using credit cards than cash; there are no splurges when the money is gone. Transcript and audio (1:56)
Talking to Children About Spending Cutbacks — It can be tough to explain to children why you can't buy them what they want or what they've always had. Transcript and audio (1:46)
Check for Billing Errors — Reviewing your bills for errors is an important step in managing dollars better. Transcript and audio (1:43)
Pre-wedding Money Talk — Before couples walk down the aisle, they should have money discussions about what comes after the honeymoon. Transcript and audio (2:04)
Online Shopping Safety Tips — To avoid hassles in online shopping, follow these tips. Transcript and audio (2:15)
Understand the Rules of Layaway Shopping — Understand the rules of the layaway; they will differ depending on the retailer offering this service. Transcript and audio (1:50)
New Gift Card Rules — Federal Reserve rules provide protections when you purchase or use gift cards. Transcript and audio (2:09)
Study Finds Households Need Emergency Funds — The National Bureau of Economic Research published a study in May 2011 that shows that 50% of Americans would struggle to come up with $2,000 in a pinch. Transcript and audio (2:02)
Financial Capability Study: Minnesota Findings — Find out how Minnesotans rate with making ends meet, planning ahead, and more. Transcript and audio (2:04)
Lifeline Telephone Plan Assistance Required Annual Certification — If you are a low-income consumer who receives the Lifeline service, don't forget the annual re-certification process. Transcript and audio (2:09)
Opinions on Middle Class Description Change — The definition of the American middle-class varies and through time can and will change. Transcript and audio (1:46)
Minnesota Cold Weather Rule — Understand how to protect yourself from having your heat turned off. Transcript and audio (1:51)
Strategies for Spending Less — When your family faces reduced income, take immediate action to stop all excess spending. Part of the Getting Through Tough Times series.
Shop and Save — Stretch your food dollars with our tips and resources.
The Financial Side of Family Transition — Even if you are comfortable with all of the changes, you will still probably experience financial upheaval after a divorce or separation. Get tools and information on specific financial situations that you may encounter after a family transition.
Disaster Recovery — Offers families new or additional resources following a disaster. Includes the Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit.