managing your finances

You want to live your life in color today and tomorrow. We want to help make it happen.

Each of us has a unique plan for what we want financially. We want to help you shape yours. To get going, check out our advice here, then meet with a friendly Norway expert at your nearest local branch.

be clear on what your goals are

make a plan

Write down your goals. Which are most important? How much will they cost? When do you hope to achieve them? What are ways you can begin saving for them?

control your money

Don’t let your money control you! Create a budget to help you understand and manage finances. A budget is a great way to make sure all your expenses will be covered by your income.  It gives you the information and structure you’ll need to move toward your goals in realistic ways.

money in

Begin to build a budget by getting a handle on your income, the money flowing into your household. What is your net income after taxes and other regular payroll deductions (such as health insurance premiums)?

To calculate your monthly net income for the purposes of your budget, multiply your weekly pay by 4.33, your biweekly pay by 2.167, or divide your annual income by 12.

money out

Now look at your monthly expenses. Where is your money going? Fixed monthly expenses, such as rent, mortgage, or loan payments, are the same month after month. These are easy to track.

Variable monthly expenses, such as groceries and utility bills, vary from month to month. To track these, estimate or record them for a year (or look at last year’s bills) and divide by 12.

To track occasional expenses, such as property taxes and other insurance premiums, estimate or record them for a year (or look at last year’s bills) and divide by 12.


don’t forget the details

For many households, small cash purchases really add up. For at least one month, record everything you and your family spend on things such as movies, haircuts, and coffee on the go. Do it as a group effort—it’s a great way to get the facts and teach everyone about the importance of managing finances.

add it up

Now fill out your budget, entering your income and expenses in monthly rows and columns—and get ready for a few surprises: How much can you save? Where could you cut to save even more? How long will it take you to reach your goals? Probably a little longer than you’d like. But at least you know the facts—and now you can really do it!

tips for teens

Teenagers need financial advice, too — learning the best ways to save, spend, or protect their cash can be tricky. Our financial literacy partner Banzai! makes it easy with their resources designed for teens!