Information on Your Waushara County

Managing Your Money


Managing your money means careful planning, keeping records, and setting goals in order to make ends meet every month, and having savings to meet emergency needs and retirement living expenses. 

The recommendation for cost of living expenses includes 30 percent of monthly income towards rent or mortgage plus. Plan for 10 percent of you net income to go towards food expenses, 15 percent for transportation including vehicle purchases, gasoline, oil and other expenses, 12 percent for food, and 10.8 percent for insurance and pensions.

Remember to account for biannual or annual expenses such as property taxes, auto insurance payments, trips, auto upkeep, and birthday, plus holiday expenses. Include the little items that can add up over time like a stop at the convenience store or picking up coffee and a muffin. Small items can add up over time, and often those can be the purchases that are unaccounted for and leave you wondering, “Where did my money go this month?” Planning puts you in control of where your money is being spent and how much you are saving. 

There are a variety of ways to keep track of your spending; use what is best for your household. You can use a notebook, envelopes labeled with your expense categories, or a computer software program. 

Consider using color-coded folders in a plastic tote or in a file cabinet for safekeeping. I suggest that you keep the important papers that you need in a designated place in order to refer to them as needed. Also determine who is going to be responsible for record keeping and bill paying. 

The bottom line is to know the exact amounts that you spend including those small items that add up over time. Make sure you are paying your bills on time to avoid late fees. Knowing where you money is being spent and staying within your spending plan can help you meet those unexpected expenses, and give you peace of mind. Finally, make sure you get your free credit report three times a year to check for mistakes or fraud. 

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