Beginners Guide to Budgeting

A budget is a tool to help you become financially successful, giving you a way to handle expenses while still enjoying life. With a few simple budgeting principles, you’ll quickly see a difference in your financial management. Here’s how to get started.

Start 2024 Off with the 52-Week Savings Challenge

2024 is upon us, and one of the most common New Year’s resolutions for everyone is to save more and improve your finances in the upcoming year. However, saving money can be challenging, and saving even $500 may sound like a difficult task. So how can you easily save enough money for an emergency fund or meet a savings goal while also not feeling restrained by a budget? There is a strategy you can use to make saving easier this year. 

It’s called the 52-Week Money Challenge. Read on to learn how it works.

Common Budgeting Mistakes

A budget is a crucial financial tool to use in achieving and maintaining financial stability. It is used to track your spending habits and can help you save for things you need and want without having to suddenly run up your credit card because you ran low on funds. Here are some ways to build a budget and set yourself up for success.

Hacks for Saving Money While Grocery Shopping

With today’s inflation and rising costs, everyone can benefit by saving a few dollars at the grocery store. Read on to learn some tips on how to save during your next shopping trip. 

Creative Ways to Save Money This Summer

Whether you’re looking to save for a summer vacation or pay down debt, cutting costs doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the way you live. There are many creative ways to save money. Use these tips the next time you’re looking to save money to help you meet your financial goals.

3 Tips to Avoid Credit Card Debt

Your credit card is one of the most important, but potentially perilous, financial resources you have at your disposal. Using a credit card correctly can allow you to make significant purchases, earn rewards, and build your credit score to assist with securing loans. However, if you’re not using your card wisely, you can also build up overwhelming credit card debt very quickly.

Why You Need an Emergency Fund

No matter what your financial situation is, it’s a good idea to have an emergency fund for those unplanned expenses life throws your way. An emergency fund can help you stay on track financially when the unexpected happens.

Ways To Save More When You Travel

Have you ever taken a trip and spent more than you planned? Traveling can be expensive but it doesn’t have to break you. Here are some helpful tips to make your travels relaxing and cost-effective.

New Years Financial Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

January always presents an opportunity to make new resolutions to make improvements in our lives. When it comes to your finances, the New Year also is a good time to set goals and strategies. Choosing the right resolutions for you can make all the difference when it comes to improving your financial health. Here are three financial New Year’s resolutions to help you start 2023 off right.

Buy What You Love - Cost Per Use Tool

As we continue to refresh our financial goals for the New Year, popular budget tools like “Cost Per Use” can help you decide if your purchases are worth it. Read more to learn about this tool and how it can impact your wallet.

5 Tips for Saving Money on Holiday Expenses

From making Thanksgiving dinner to buying your loved ones gifts, the holidays are generally known for being an expensive time of year. Thankfully, there are many ways to save on holiday expenses this year, starting with these 5 tips.

Debunking Spooky Financial Myths

Ghost stories aren’t the only spooky myths being told this time of year. Below we are debunking four common financial myths.

5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween on a Budget

Celebrating Halloween doesn’t have to cost you. We have 5 tips and tricks to help you keep Halloween festivities under budget.

4 Fall Financial Clean-Up Tips

Autumn is right around the corner and there is no better time than now to give your finances a fall clean-up. Here are some tips to make sure your finances are on track and organized.

Teaching Children Budgeting Basics

Just because school is back in session doesn’t mean your child’s at-home learning has to stop. There are many opportunities for youth to continue learning at home. How to handle and budget money, for example, is a great topic to introduce to children at home.

To 8 Back to School Saving Tips

The new school year is right around the corner and it’s time to start your back-to-school shopping. Follow these 8 budget-friendly tips to help you save on all the essential school supplies this season.

Fun and Cheap Summer Activities for Kids

As summer starts to slow down, you might need some fresh ideas on how to occupy kids at home. Here are some fun and cheap activities to bust summer boredom.

Budget-Friendly Summer Date Night Ideas

Just because you want to save money this summer, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice date night. There are plenty of ways to spend time with your loved one without breaking the bank. Here are a few ideas.

10 Financial Tips for Starting a Family

So you’re thinking about starting a family – check out these 10 financial tips as this exciting new chapter of life begins. 

When to Renovate and When to Move

Many people find themselves needing to change their surroundings for a variety of reasons. If you ever find yourself weighing whether to renovate your home or move, ask yourself these questions for a better understanding of which option is a better choice for you.

Planning A Wedding? Follow These Budget-Friendly Tips

Wedding planning is meant to be an enjoyable experience for both you and your partner, yet it is easy to get overwhelmed by the seemingly “endless” to-do list. A perfect way to start feeling excited for your special day is by feeling in control of your finances — get started with these budget-friendly tips.

Ways to Handle the Cost of Inflation

With costs rising due to inflation, it can be hard to know where to start when dealing increased prices. We have some tips to help you handle the cost of inflation.

Why Financial Wellness Matters

No matter where you are in life, whether newly graduated, buying your first house, or getting closer to retirement, it is important to be knowledgeable about personal finances. When you understand the basics, you set yourself up for success and build a healthy financial future. Here are three strategies to help you be successful with your personal finances.

Build Your Rainy-Day Fund

Unexpected expenses can be challenging on many levels, but if you are financially prepared by setting aside savings for a rainy day, you can better weather a storm when it rolls in.

Helping Your Teen Finance the Next Stage in Life

As your children grow older and enter high school, their expenses will grow with them. Buying a car, saving for college, signing up for a camp, or pursuing a hobby all have significant costs associated with them. So, it’s important at this stage of life to teach them how to manage their personal finances in pursuit of their goals and dreams.

Money Lessons from the Pandemic

The pandemic caught many off guard. As the world shut down, uncertainty has been a key theme since. MSUFCU will share what you can learn from this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Why Do Savings Matter?

It’s often much more fun to spend the money you earn rather than to save it. Vacations, home renovations, getting a new phone are fun, but costly. Having a healthy savings account is important and actually makes be able to do fun things easier.

Never Had a Budget? Here's How to Create One

If establishing a budget seems overwhelming, once you begin with a few simple budgeting principles, you’ll quickly see a difference in your financial management. Here’s how to get started.

How to Avoid Overdraft Fees

If you’ve ever made a purchase resulting in a negative balance on your account, you may have been charged an overdraft fee by your financial institution. This can be a costly process that is avoidable if you follow these strategies.

Create a Budget In Three Steps

While there are many methods and tools you can use to establish a budget, it can still be a challenge to stick with it. Here are some steps you can take to learn how much money you have available to spend, and how to decide where to spend it.

How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Quickly

With the holidays behind us, mounting credit card debt can seem overwhelming. Here are some steps to take that can help you pay off your debt quickly.

Starting A New Job? Consider These Financial Factors.

Accepting a new job offer includes adjusting to a different company, environment, coworkers, culture, and more. This may also include an impact on your finances. If you’re about to start or have recently started a new job, here are some smart money moves to make.

Five Ways to Get Your Finances on Track

Your financial situation includes a combination of your income, expenses, and debt as well as your goals and dreams. To achieve financial wellness, you should have a plan which will help reduce stress and allow you to be more productive. To set yourself up for success, consider following these five steps to improve your financial well-being.

Recently Graduated With a New Job? Time to Budget Like a Rock Star

You have reached financial independence and can now spend money on the things you want. But with this freedom comes questions such as, “Where is all my money going each month?” and “How much should I save?” Creating a budget can help answer these questions and provide a financial framework to help you achieve your goals. Here’s how to get started.

Five Ways to Create a Budget You Can Live With

What can a budget do for you? A budget helps you manage your spending, track your expenses, and allows you to save more money. It can also help you be more prepared for emergencies, reduce debt, and remain focused on your long-term financial goals. But how do you create a budget you can live with? Here are five ways to do so.

How to Prepare High School Seniors for Financial Independence

If you have a child going off to college soon or in a couple years, being a role model for positive personal financial management is a great way to help him or her be more prepared for financial independence. But there is more you can do. Here are a few lessons to teach your high school student before he or she leaves the nest.

Should You Buy a House Now, Or Wait?

While housing inventory is still trending low and demand is still high, you may wonder if it is better to wait until the market is more favorable for buyers. The best time to buy a home is personal; it is when it makes sense for you and your financial situation. Here are some ways to determine when it is a good time to buy a new home.

Are Cash Back Credit Cards Worth It?

Cash back cards can help simplify your finances, earn you funds for spending, and allow you to take advantage of extra perks that debit cards don’t offer. But cash back credit cards have both benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your spending habits, another type of card may offer better rewards for your situation or save you more money. Here are some pros and cons to cash back credit cards.

The Lease is Up; Should You Buy the Car?

If your vehicle lease is coming to an end, you will soon have the option to end the lease, trade it in, or buy it out. There are situations when buying out your lease makes financial sense. Here are a few items to consider when determining if you want to buy your leased vehicle.

If Finances are Tight, Here’s What to Pay First

If you are having financial difficulties, it may become challenging to pay all of your monthly bills. While everyone’s financial situation is different, here are general guidelines for how to prioritize payments.

Make a Difference in Your Community By Supporting Small Businesses; Here’s How

National Small Business Week, May 2-8, 2021, is a celebration and appreciation of small businesses. It highlights the role they play in the U.S. economy with an emphasis on shopping local and supporting entrepreneurs. Here are some ways you can support local businesses and why it matters.

5 Things To Do Before the Home-Buying Process

If you are in the market for a house, being prepared is key. This includes knowing your credit score, obtaining a preapproval letter from your lender, and finding a good realtor. Despite being organized, there are several things to do before you even begin your house search. Here are five of them.

Thinking of Adopting a Pet? Consider the Costs First

National Pet Day is April 11! As many as 68% of U.S. households own a pet, and you may be looking to become one of them. Before adopting a pet, evaluate your financial situation to ensure you can afford to take care of your pet’s needs.

How to Set and Stick to a Budget

We are continuing our financial New Year’s resolutions discussion with how to set up and stick to a budget. Read on to learn some tips to create and stick to a budget.

3 Financial Resolutions To Help Make Your 2021 Successful

  Making the right resolutions can make all the difference when it comes to improving your financial health. Here are three financial New Year’s resolutions to help you start 2021 off right.

Hidden Holiday Costs and How to Reduce Them

You may already have a list for the holidays: traditional food, gifts, ornaments, lights, and more. Here are a few expenses you may not have added to your budget and ways to reduce them.

How to Protect Your Emergency Fund

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, protecting your emergency fund is important. Here are some strategies to keep this crucial fund strong.

Is It Time to Update Your Budget?

Having a budget is a great way to monitor what you spend your money on and keep you on track with your financial goals. But every once in a while, it needs a little TLC. Here are five steps to refreshing your money management system.

3 Financial Red Flags You Should Address

Sometimes life sends you signals your finances aren’t quite where they should be, such as an overdraft fee on an account or a denied credit card application. Here are several common financial red flags you should address — plus easy ways to eliminate them.

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Stimulus Check

Stimulus checks from the U.S. government have started to be deposited to provide economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Eligible taxpayers can expect to automatically receive their one-time payment of up to $1,200, depending on adjusted gross income. 

Your Financial Recipe to Budgeting

Successful budgeting is like mixing together the perfect ingredients in a recipe. Follow this five-step financial recipe to figure out the best plan that works for your financial goals.

MSUFCU Supports Small Business with Its Local Loyalty Program

MSUFCU’s mission of building dreams together goes far beyond just helping members achieve their financial goals. It also includes supporting small businesses in communities where its employees and members live and work. This helps keep local economies strong, good jobs close to home, and strengthens communities.

Budgeting for New Parents

Becoming a parent is one of the most joyful and exciting times of your life, but it can also be financially overwhelming. You must prepare for everything from buying diapers, to paying for doctor visits and daycare, all while trying to achieve your financial goals and sticking to a budget. Here are a few tips to help build a baby budget into your financial plans.

Create an Emergency Fund
Consider all of your financial needs when trying to prioritize your expenses. It’s important to have an emergency fund with at least three to six months’ worth of expenses. Once you reach this goal, contribute a set amount each month to continue growing your account. Having this fund established will help bring you peace of mind.

Keep Saving for Retirement
Even though you have additional expenses with a new baby, you should continue to contribute to your retirement savings.  According to Investopedia, it's a good idea set aside at least 15% of your income or contribute to a 401(k) if your workplace offers one to help set yourself up financially for retirement.

Reduce Debt
Costs for child care will add up quickly. Work to pay down and pay off credit cards, car loans, student loans or any other debts you may have. These debts will prevent you from focusing on your financial priorities. Paying these down quickly will help you get on the right track and give you more money each month to put toward your savings.

Update Your Budget
When your baby arrives, your household income may be affected. One or both parents may take unpaid maternity leave, or one might stop working. Cutting your expenses or practicing living on less will put more money in your pocket for costs that come with a new child. Getting used to a smaller budget can help you save for daycare and other immediate expenses.

Shop Smart
Most expenses for a new born baby won’t last forever, but new expenses may arise as your child gets older. To help reduce these costs try these options:

• Buy secondhand and shop Mom2Mom sales
• Shop around for different child care providers
• Look for discounts on items such as diapers, formula, and strollers.

Planning goes a long way, even though unforeseen circumstances may arise and you may not be able to contribute to all of your financial priorities every month. Having a baby is a wonderful gift, but there are costs involved. Creating a plan beforehand will help you reach your financial goals and make the transition a little easier.



5 Ways to Start the New Year on the Right Financial Track

January is a great time to start something new. When it comes to your finances, the New Year also is a good time to set goals and strategies. Here are five ways to help you start 2020 on the right financial track: