Spend 101

The title of this post could also be Spend 101. It is a short list of basic practices that, if followed, will almost guarantee that you can meet your financial goals. There is nothing here that we haven’t heard before at one time, or another. But, even though we see this advice from time to time, it is an unusual person indeed that follows the list to the letter consistently.

Therefore the goal of this post is to get you to adapt one, just one, hint or tip that you are not currently using. Then maybe, in the future, you may start using another, and so on. But all that is in the future. For now, look at the list from MyMoney.gov/Spend, and pick just one new action to start using. Surely that can’t be too hard.

From MyMoney.gov on Spend


The fundamental concept of Spend is: make a budget or a plan for using your money wisely. It’s helpful to set short and long-term financial goals and manage your money to meet them.

Actions You Can Take

  • Live within your means.
  • Be a smart shopper, and compare prices and quality.
  • Track your spending habits and develop a budget or spending plan.
  • Plan for short-term and long-term financial goals.

Hints and Tips

  • A good way to take control of your spending is to set the maximum amounts you plan to spend each week or each month. Once you’ve set the maximum, stick with your plan.
  • It’s helpful to track your spending over a few weeks or months to get a handle on how you are using your dollars and cents. Look into using on-line systems or phone apps for keeping track of your spending – you will be amazed at what you’ll learn about your habits! (editor’s note: The Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union offers the use of MoneyDesktop Software free to members)
  • Be careful not to let a sale or discount coupon persuade you to purchase something you don’t really need and that isn’t in your spending plan.
  • When planning a big purchase, take time to comparison shop and check prices at a few different stores, by phone or online.

That’s it. Pick something you’re not doing, or not doing well, and make it part of your regular spending process. If you are going to increase your attention to budgeting, take a look at MoneyDesktop. You can learn more on the Tri-Town Teachers web site.

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