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Money Management 101

Being a good steward over your finances is hard. Many of us find ourselves living paycheck to paycheck. There never seems to be enough money to cover our living costs no matter how much we are making. Our paychecks seem to be overcome by our debts. Take control of your finances today so that you and your family can live better now and in the future. Here are a few money management 101 tips to help your family make the best decisions you can when it come to your finances.

This conversation has been sponsored by Arizona Commission for Post-secondary Education. All opinions are my own.

Money Management



Making a budget isn’t always the hardest thing to do. It is keeping to the budget that is hard. There are many budgeting apps like Mint that can help make and stay in a budget. It is important to gain a sense of the money you have coming in and the amount you should have going out. When all our money is on a card and we don’t see it, it gets very easy to spend it all until we’re in trouble. Consider moving your spending to a cash system and dealing in cash. When you see the money leaving, you’re much more mindful of it.

Putting away savings is difficult when you live on a tight budget. There is always some to put away though. Even if all you can do is $5 a paycheck, it’s good to have a savings to fall back on in hard times. As you begin saving, put it in a harder place to reach. Having a growing pile of cash on hand can get very tempting to use.

Avoid debt like the plague. Learn to put off the things you want instead of giving into instant gratification. Focus on the difference between needs and wants. If there is something large you want, start putting the money away for it. Most credit cards charge a very high interest rate. That rate can go even higher up to a 30% easily, if you miss even one payment. Therefore, instead of just paying $100 for something, you may end up paying double or even triple for it. At that point, think of how many other things you could have bought for that money if you just would have saved in the first place. Credit cards should only be used in emergency situations after a lot of thought has gone into the decision.

Planning ahead can save a ton of money. Last minute choices are expensive. Especially for things like vacations. Flights and hotels can be double the price if your trying to make reservations or bookings too close to the date. Also, planning last minute makes it hard to shop around for the best prices. You end up taking one of the first choices you see. Even things in the far future like college need to be planned ahead for. Looking ahead and doing well in school can lead to scholarships and first choice schools.

Investing for the Future is something most people don’t think about until they are older and it’s harder. Starting a savings for retirement or college will continue to grow and will grow larger the longer it is put away. You don’t need to know much about the time value of money or of compounding interest to know that. The people at AZ529 College Savings Plan know about that and that is why they are giving away a $250 college scholarship today, for your child’s tomorrow.

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The Arizona Family College Savings Program is sponsored by the State of Arizona through the AZ Commission for Post-secondary Education. It is designed to help families plan and meet the rising costs of higher education. The benefits of an AZ529 plan include: Tax free withdraws, Low minimum investments required, professional money management, Tax-deferred earnings, no income restrictions and much more.

Some more fun facts of the AZ 529 plans include, all accredited institutions in the United States are eligible for 529 plans. Assets in the 529 plans belong to the parents, therefore, it can not be considered when determining the child’s eligibility for financial aid. Children with a college savings are six times more likely to attend then children without.

To enter to win the $250 scholarship for your kids, you need to print out the coloring page, have them color it and e-mail or mail it back in by December 11, 2015. Take a look at the college savings planner to learn more about investing and saving for college today and for the future. If you would like to know more about the AZ529 plan and the scholarship contest click here. Follow AZ 529 on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates.

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