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Money Management

We all wish money grew on trees, but because it does not it is important to make a budget. Budgets help you know how much money you have coming in each month and how much money you will need to cover your living expenses. What are your expenses; food, clothing, housing, medication, toiletries, gas for the car, car insurance, car payment, entertainment, etc, etc, etc!

Female wishing money fell from the sky

Money Management Tips
1. Pay bills on time to avoid late fees.
2. Pay more than the minimum on your credit cards.
3. Read your bank statement regularly.
4. Build an emergency fund of at least three months' living expenses.
5. Shop around for the best insurance rates and coverage.
6. Look around for and switch to credit cards with lower rates.
7. Follow a monthly budget.
8. Adjust your W-4 annually to make sure you are not giving the government too much money.
9. Check your credit report annually for accuracy.
10.Comparison shop for the best deal on your mortgage or refinancing.

Average Costs Today:
Apartment Rental = $550/mo for a one bedroom
Buying a Car= $5,000
Food = $200/mo for one person
Gas for Car = $2.70/gal
Going to School = $3000/semester for full time status
House Purchase = $130,000 for a two bedroom/two bathroom home
Having Children = $11,000 for the first year http://www.babycenter.com/cost-of-raising-child-calculator

North Dakota Bridge To Benefits: Screening tool developed by the Children's Defense Fund can help individuals and families learn if they might qualify for benefits from some North Dakota programs. Check Out: http://nd.bridgetobenefits.org/start_screening.html

Application for North Dakota Assistance: Information about public assistance programs and a link to the online application. Check Out: http://www.nd.gov/dhs/info/pubs/application.html

Helpful Links To Check Out:

Checkbook, money, and calculator

Ask a Professional

"It is especially important for individuals to take ownership over their credit bureau score, otherwise known as FICO scores.  This score is used by banks, insurance companies, and credit cards to determine credit worthiness.  It can affect your insurance premiums and interest rates on loans.  The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get the best rates and financing offers.

Keeping a close eye on your credit score is essential to ensure that you are not the victim of identity theft.  By law, everyone is able to receive a free copy of his/her credit bureau once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com.  Although this site does not provide your FICO score free of charge, you will still get a free listing of all credit history activity including names, contacts, balances, etc.  This enables you to review the information that may affect your credit score.

Lastly, I would highly encourage you to find a bank that makes you feel welcome.  Develop a relationship with a banker, and then stay in contact with them.  This way, when you're making a financial decision you will have an advisor within the financial industry to assist you along the way."  (Banker)