1. PLAN - Plan for the future, major purchases and occasional expenses like car insurance or taxes.
2. SET FINANCIAL GOALS - Determine short, mid and long range financial goals.
3. KNOW YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION - Determine monthly living expenses, occasional expenses and monthly debt repayments. Compare outgo to monthly net income. Be aware of your total indebtedness.
4. DEVELOP A REALISTIC SPENDING PLAN - Follow your plan as closely as possible. Evaluate your plan by comparing actual expenses with planned expenses.
5. DON’T ALLOW EXPENSES TO EXCEED INCOME - Don’t charge more every month than you are repaying to our creditors. Avoid paying only the minimum on your charge cards.
6. SAVE - Save for expenses which occur infrequently, such as car and home maintenance. Save 5 to 10 percent of your net income. Accumulate 3 to 6 months salary in an emergency fund.
7. PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME - Maintain a good credit rating. If you are unable to pay your bills as agreed, contact your creditors and explain your situation. Contact a nonprofit credit counseling agency for professional advice.
8. RECOGNIZE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NECESSITIES AND THINGS YOU DESIRE - Take care of necessities like food and housing first. Money should be spent for wants only after basic necessities have been met.
9. USE CREDIT WISELY - Use credit for safety, convenience and planned purchases. Determine the total you can comfortably afford to purchase on credit. Don’t allow your credit payments to exceed 20% of your net income. Avoid borrowing from one creditor to pay another.
10. KEEP A RECORD OF DAILY EXPENDITURES - Be aware of where your money is going. Use a spending diary to assist you in identifying areas where adjustments need to be made.