Money is just a tool like anything else, and it is all about how you use it. Last week we published a poll asking about your New Year’s resolutions. The number two thing people in Wyoming wanted to improve about themselves in 2016 was managing money.

Everyone is different. There is not a one-sized-fits-all formula to managing money. The best and most important thing is having a budget and a plan. Then it comes to accounting for how much comes in and what goes out. Make sure you consult a professional for any major life changing money issues. It is always wise to talk to any family members, too.

  • 1

    Make a Budget

    This is the most important step to managing you money. Start by gathering up ALL your expenses: rent/mortgage, car payment, utilities, food, gas, and other. Don’t forget the little ones like Netflix, Hulu, etc. Some of the items like food and gas may be estimates.

    Then add your income. Next subtract expenses from income. Are you spending more than you make? Or do you have surplus after you compare the money in and money out? If you are spending more than you make, you have two options: make more money or spend less money.

    If you need a more detailed description on how to make I budget, check out Dave Ramsey’s how to make a budget. Look at your bank statement to see what you have spent in the past few months. Every number matters especially if you budget is short.

    Financial data and eyeglasses
  • 2

    Make More Money

    There is no easy way to say it, but money will not just appear in your bank account without working for it. If you budget is not balanced, you may need to think if there are any ways to bring in more money. Do have products or skills that you could sell? Want to shovel snow for a few extra bucks? Or maybe deliver pizza?

    You can also take a look at things that you could sell like an unused car or that guitar you haven’t played in over a year. The only down side about just selling stuff is it is only a one time deposit unlike a job that could bring more in over the long term.

    Man Shoveling Snow From the Front Walkway
  • 3

    Reduce Spending

    Take a good look at your budget. Determine what the luxuries are and cancel what you don’t need. Maybe that Netflix subscription needs to take a vacation. Maybe you don’t need to go to the hardware store each time they have a sale. Ask yourself: Do I need this? Or do I want it?

    Woman cutting up credit card
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    Will Power

    Once you make that budget, you have to stick to it. If you budgeted you can only go out to dinner once a week, do it. This is where you have to be strong and stick by the numbers. Your bank may have apps that could help you stay on budget during a month, but ultimately you are the master of your finical fate.

    Reaching Goal
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    Save Money

    If you are fortunate to bring more in than what goes out, make a plan to save some money for the budget. Once you learn to stick to the budget, your savings will grow.

    Health savings account