Family Finances

We often spend more money than we earn. Advertising urges us to buy, buy, buy. It’s easy to let our spending habits get out of control. But, with practice, we can change the way we manage our money.

Making a budget can help you see how much you spend and what you spend it on. Make saving a part of your budget and try to save the same amount each month, even if it is small. Save for clear goals, like education, a car, a house or retirement. And start teaching your children about money. Explain the choices your family has to make so your money can go further.

Teaching Children About Money
Teaching Children About Money
Daniel saved until he could buy the truck he wanted. By the age of 5 or 6, children can start learning to count, to save money and to make choices about what to buy.

Budget Planning
The Jansens are planning their budget together.

Monthly income   $______
Monthly expenses   $______
Housing   $______
Food   $______
Gas and electricity   $______
Water and garbage   $______
Phone   $______
Car/transportation   $______
Clothes   $______
Education   $______
Health care   $______
Child care   $______
Entertainment/meals out   $______
Insurance (home/car/health)   $______
Credit card payment   $______
Taxes   $______
Savings   $______
What else?    
• Emergencies   $______
• Vacation   $______
Total expenses   $______

Things You Can Do

Where to Find Help

Learn More

Inexpensive Toys

  • Inexpensive Toys
    A rolled up piece of paper is just as much fun for Joe as an expensive toy. Plastic cups, measuring spoons and other common household items make wonderful, free toys for small children.

Over Your Head in Debt?

    • The interest you pay on credit cards and loans can double or triple the cost of things you buy.
    • Carry just 1 or 2 credit cards and try to pay your balance every month. Or get a debit card, which takes money out of your checking account.
    • Check your total debt each month. If it keeps growing, you may be heading for trouble.
    • Take action. Make a plan and start paying off your debt.
    • You can write to your credit card companies and explain your problem. Ask them to reduce your monthly payments and interest rate.
    • A consumer credit counselor can help you make a budget and work with the credit card companies. Visit