Gain control over your finances

The first step in gaining financial control is analyzing your situation. Get started by taking these free assessments.

A recent Federal ReserveReport on the Economic Well-being of U.S. Households” shows that economic hardships continue after the recession rebound. Examples of this can be found in some of the 2014 survey findings:

  • Many individuals lack emergency savings, with 47 percent of respondents saying they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400, or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money.
  • Thirty-nine percent of non-retirees have given little or no thought to financial planning for retirement and 31 percent have no retirement savings or pension.
  • Twenty percent of respondents report their spending exceeded their income in the 12 months prior to the survey.
  • Twenty-three percent of adults report currently having education debt of some kind.

Dave Ramsey, American financial author, radio host, television personality and motivational speaker, once said, “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” Michigan State University Extension and United States Cooperative Research Extension Services nationwide have a wealth of personal finance tools and resources for youth and adults to help them gain control of their money and start making a savings plan to reach their goals. The first step in gaining control is analyzing your situation. Below are a few free assessments to get you started:

  • Money Personality: Gain control by understanding how your values and emotions influence your money decisions.
  • PowerPay: Tools to develop a personalized, self-directed debt elimination plan. Discover how quickly you can become debt-free and how much you can save in interest costs by following your debt reduction plan.
  • Wise Credit Management Quiz: Want to use credit wisely and pay less to borrow money? Start by taking this quiz to assess your current credit-related practices.
  • Are You an Overspender?: Identify areas of overspending by taking this quick quiz.
  • Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz: Want to improve your personal finances? Start by taking this quiz to get an idea of your risk tolerance – one of the fundamental issues to consider when planning your investment strategy, either alone or in consultation with a professional.

For more tools and tips, visit MSU Extension’s MI Money Health and Youth Money Management webpages.

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