Most of us know that it’s a good idea to have a safety cushion of money tucked away, but making that happen can be difficult.

You may not feel you have a lot of choice about what to do with your money. After all, you probably face a monthly rent or mortgage payment, buy groceries regularly, and perhaps pay for child care. It can be difficult to make the money stretch to put something away for the future while paying these everyday expenses. That’s why a spending plan is a good idea.

A spending plan provides a financial road map. It helps your dollars stay on track so you can reach your goals. And it prevents you from taking unnecessary and expensive detours.

Many people say the best way to save money is to create a budget, but for many of us the word "budget" is a negative. Budgets seem limiting, they don't allow for any fun and they seem hard to set up—and keep track of.

But a budget—also known as a spending plan—can actually be freeing and help us meet our goals. With a spending plan, you'll be able to track the money coming in, where the money goes and plug any "spending leaks" you find. You’ll also be able to set up some savings goals that you can reach.

Before long, your spending plan will help you save money regularly. That money will help you when unexpected emergencies come up, and it will help you reach the goals you've set for yourself and your family.

Managing Your Money: Saving Money with a Spending Plan

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