Money can be challenging. 

Managing your spending so that you can pay your bills and do the things that are important to you can sound impossible. However, a few tried and true strategies can make the difference between financial chaos and a spending plan that works for you. Illinois Extension has educational resources that can help you choose the strategies that will help you take control of your finances. 

Puzzle pieces that make a hundred dollar bill

Secrets to Financial Success

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Money Mentors

Money Mentors assist with organizing finances, managing debt, and building savings.

Understanding where your money goes.

Most of us are aware of the big expenses in our daily lives, but it’s the small amounts that slip by. Small amounts do add up! Do you have regular habits that add up? Look at the examples below – perhaps there are some small changes in your spending that you’d like to make in order to redirect your money towards your goals.

This chart shows some simple ways you can choose where you can save. 

  • 1 soft drink a day at $1.50 each adds up to $547.50 a year.
  • 1 candy bar or chips a day at $1.25 each adds up to $456.25 a year.
  • 1 pack of cigarettes a day at $7.50 adds up to $2737.50 a year.
  • 1 tank of gas a week at $40 adds up to $2,080 a year.
  • Eating out five days a week at $8 per meals adds up to $2,080 a year
  • 1 specialty coffee a day at $4.50 each adds up to $1,642.50 a year
  • 1 online movie subscription at $9 per month adds up to $108 a year.
  • 1 game subscription at $15 per month adds up to $180 a year.

Write it down.

Knowing where your money comes from and where it is going is a huge step towards managing your spending. Read simple and effective worksheets!