Wise money moves

Are you someone who works hard, gets paid, pays bills and then wonders where all your hard earned money has gone? Here are a few money management tips from the Home Repair Resource Center: 

Money Move 1: Establish a cash reserve. You set the amount; it can be $50 or $500. This is to be used only for emergencies. If you don’t have a lump sum to start with, save small amounts until you do.

Money Move 2: Make a budget or spending plan. Monthly expenses have to get paid on time or your credit will be affected, and you may experience unexpected utility turn-offs or calls from bill collectors. List bills you must pay from each paycheck. When you have money left over, determine how you want to use it. If you don’t have money left over, consider making a crisis budget plan to reduce your debts. It reduces other expenses for set time and allocates that money to pay debts.

Money Move 3: Create financial goals: things you want to achieve with your earnings. Establish a savings account for vacations and/or education; establish your own IRA, individual retirement account; participate in your employer's 401K or 403B retirement plan; and pay off credit card debt.

Money Move 4: Learn about money: how to manage it, leverage it, save more of it and invest wisely. The Home Repair Resource Center offers budgeting classes, as well as one-on-one credit and budget counseling for Cleveland Heights residents. For more information and a list of classes, visit www.hrrc-ch.org or call 216-381-6100.

Money Move 5: Learn how the credit card industry works and the true cost of credit. Attend the free showing of the movie "Maxed Out" at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Lee Road Library.

Gail Jackson is the financial programs counselor at the Home Repair Resource Center.

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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 5:05 PM, 09.21.2009