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By Robert Juliano, Vice President of Community Development at Beneficial Bank

In tough financial times, maintaining a budget and saving is crucial to your financial security. At Beneficial Bank, we put a priority on educating our customers about how they can do the right thing financially.

We understand how challenging, and sometimes overwhelming, creating a budget and sticking to it can be. That is why at Beneficial we have created realistic saving and budgeting tips to help our customers. Check out these tips and see how they can help you with your money management needs:

1. Stay focused on your goals. Keep in mind your goals, target dates and cost associated with your target. Always pay yourself first- have a specific amount of money automatically deducted from your paycheck for savings. Save as much as possible.

2. Educate your family. Educate your family about money early. By giving children an allowance or letting them earn one, you help them learn to manage their own funds and save for the things they want. Take them to the bank and help them open their own account.

3. Distinguish between wants and needs. Purchases you make when you have extra money fall into two categories: Needs and Wants. Needs and wants are different from goals in that they are more immediate and don’t require long-term planning. Do purchase want you need, but avoid getting the things that fall into the “want” category.

4. Partner with a bank. Payday lenders and check cashing stores charge triple-digit interest rates. Rent-to-own stores are another potential money drain- what you pay for renting furniture or appliances quickly climbs above the value of the product.

5. Avoid unused subscriptions. Are you subscribing to magazines that you can’t find the time to read? Maybe you belong to a movie-rental club where you’re paying a monthly fee but aren’t always watching the movies.

6. Don’t spend “imaginary” money. Holidays, birthdays and special occasions bring you gifts in the form of cash. Likewise, depending on your job, you may expect an end-of-year bonus. Receiving gifts and bonuses allows you to buy items you otherwise might not be able to afford. The trouble begins if you start spending money before you actually receive it.

7. Avoid emotional spending. Bad day shopping trip. Many people indulge in such “retail therapy.” Treating yourself to something special can seem to take the edge off a particularly rough week, but indulging in this type of behavior could lead to financial catastrophe. Shopping while board, stressed or depressed can cause you to waste your hard-earned money.

These are just a few simple ways that you can become more financial stable. Want to know even more ways? Stop into one of our local 65 offices to meet with a Beneficial representative who can provide with you valuable education, and, help you reach all of your financial goals.

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