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Top 10 Simple Money Management Tips

Money management can be as complex as analyzing possibilities and graphing projections or as simple as stashing a bag of cash under your mattress (though we really don’t recommend going that route). But even though it’s possible to keep things too simple, for the most part, simple money management techniques are some of the best ways to handle your financials. Here are 10 simple tips worth trying as you navigate your finances.

Photo of a piggy bank.

Automate wherever you can 

It’s easier to manage your money when you don’t have to think about it. Set up online bill pay for all the payments you can, and then you don’t have to worry about missing a due date. 


Put savings away first

When you get paid, pay yourself first. Before you take care of your bills, transfer a percentage into your savings. You get bonus points if you set up an automatic transfer that initiates after your direct deposit paycheck clears. 


Pay bills on time, always 

If you set up auto-pay with your bills, you won’t have to worry so much about this. But don’t miss or make late payments for your phone, auto, credit card, or any other bills you have. It’s just not the best financial habit to get into that can cost you big in late fees and interest. 


Define your financial goals

Saving for the sake of saving, or cutting costs to spend less, is good. But having a long-term financial goal or two is a whole lot more motivating. Maybe you want to save up for your first home or that big trip to Italy you’ve been dreaming of. Put those dreams down on paper (or in a financial app), and see how you can make them a reality. 


Have an emergency fund 

You never know what the future holds. It’s a good idea to have three to six months of living expenses stashed away in an easily accessible account. Save a little for a rainy day. 


Man working on a budget

Start saving for retirement now 

As you’re stashing away for your financial goals and your emergency fund, don’t forget about retirement. Saving as early as you can allows compound interest and stock market growth to do the work to grow your money. A Roth or traditional IRA is a good place to start. 


Keep your budget simple 

You’re a lot more likely to stick to a simple budget than a super complicated one with a million different categories. The 50/30/20 rule can be a good jumping-off point. That’s where you try to use 50% of your income on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings. 


Track your spending 

Take a month or two to track where your money goes. You can do it old school with a spreadsheet or get an app that tracks automatically for you. Don’t feel pressure to change your spending habits. Just observe them. That can give you good information on where you could easily cut spending. 


Older couple looking at their mobile banking

Avoid overspending on credit 

This is often easier said than done. But it can be tempting to whip out your credit card and spend more when you don’t have to check your account balance first. It’s easy to overspend, especially when you earn rewards for swiping, or money is tight. Do your best to take a moment (or a day) to think about discretionary spending before you buy. 


Use more than a traditional savings account

Traditional savings accounts are an important tool in your financial belt. But there are so many other ways to keep your money safe and help mid-term savings grow. Money market accounts, certificates of deposit, HSAs and Roth or traditional IRAs can all be great vessels for your savings as well. 

When you’re ready to streamline your money management, see what accounts and services are available through RMCU. We’re here to help you find your financial future.

Non RMCU links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Rocky Mountain Credit Union of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. RMCU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external sites.

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