Money 101

The taste of freedom after high school can be exhilarating. It can also offer some hard lessons when it comes to managing money. Twenty-something, Bailey Howard* shared her insights regarding what she wished she knew before high school graduation.
1. Just because you have money, doesn’t mean you have to spend it.

Howard admits that when she received her first few paychecks, she was so excited to buy things she wanted without restriction. She discovered later that there were things she wanted and couldn’t afford simply because she had not been intentional about saving a portion of her earnings. Today, she has a strategy when it comes to managing her finances.
2. Pay bills first. Pay yourself second.

It may seem straight-forward, but this was Howard’s first step toward financial health. Fresh out of high school, paycheck in hand, those cute shoes seemed completely affordable until the phone bill came due the following week. Today Howard pays her bills first (and early). She categorizes bills as anything that must be paid - utilities, car payment, insurance, etc.
Next, she deposits the majority of the remaining balance in a savings account. While she is currently paying for college, saving for a new car and a down payment on her home are on her list of savings goals.
Howard does keep a small amount aside for entertainment, fuel, food, and other “wants.”
3. Utilize financial tools - budgets, mobile banking, and checkbook registers.
There are numerous financial tools to help manage money. Budgeting is at the top of Howard’s list.

“Budgeting is a set amount of money you will allow yourself to use over a specified amount of time - monthly, bi-weekly, weekly. Whatever works best for you,” Howard explained. “It helps you determine what has to be paid and how much is available for gas, food and play money - money you don’t have to spend, but like to.”
Howard also utilizes her Friendship State Bank app and a paper checkbook register to track her spending.
“Although it may seem outdated to some people, a checkbook register is really helpful to keep your finances in check,” Howard said.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Learning to manage money and use the tools to make it easier is a learning process. Howard encouraged anyone with questions to visit their favorite banker for help. Bankers can show you how to use a digital banking app and how to keep and balance a checkbook register. Together, you can review your account to determine your monthly income and expenses to help you start a budget.
Getting started can be the most difficult step, but you don’t have to take it alone.

Have questions about money management tools, saving or budgeting, stop by or contact us today.
*Bailey Howard is a Versailles, Indiana native and former Friendship State Bank teller.