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One of the first things to do when setting out on the path to savings is to make a budget. An accurate budget can help you to identify all of your necessary expenses and calculate how much you can afford to set aside for savings. While every person's situation will be different, there are some basic steps that everyone can follow when setting up a budget. See the links below for guidelines on how to develop a budget.

Think of a budget as a tool you can use to manage and control your personal finances. You can use a budget to be more aware of your spending behaviors, track your income, and keep an eye on your progress toward your financial goals. Many people think budgets are a lot of hard work and too complicated. Don’t let fear or excuses get in your way!

Do's and Don'ts: Making a Budget
Guidelines to make budget planning less stressful and more successful. 

How to Make a Budget to Increase Your Savings
This is a step-by step guide on how to plan a high level budget and stick to it. It includes an easy example that shows how to save an extra $960 a year.

Budgeting involves understanding how much money you earn and spend over a period of time. Use these printable budget worksheets and budgeting lessons to teach real life basic personal finance concepts and important fundamental money skills.

Budgeting - Calculators

Here are links to a variety of tools that will help as you begin to work toward gaining control of your spending and financial future.

Build a Budget
Use this monthly budget calculator to acquire an objective view of your finances. Then seek new ways to balance your expenses and get the most out of your current income. 

Family Budget Calculator
This family budget calculator helps you to figure out how your family expenses compare to an average family's expenses. Using information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this calculator allows you to input your monthly or annual expenses in each of 14 different categories, the calculator then figures out the percentage spent in each category and compares your budget to the national average.

Ideal Budget Calculator
How does your spending compare to that of others like you? Find out with Ideal Budget Calculator. Simply answer the questions in this form to describe your household, and then click to find out.

Out of School Financial Budget
This budget calculator can help you to better understand the financial benefits of an advanced degree and the implications of debt on your future income. You can personalize the budget to reflect your personal expenses. 

Personal Finance Calculators
A variety of calculators are provided here can help you more easily manage your budgeting and personal finance.


Bank Accounts Are Changing
As banks adjust to new rules limiting fees they can charge for some services, they may raise other costs to compensate. Review basic strategies for keeping checking and savings costs down. Also, what happens if your bank fails, $250,000 FDIC coverage is now permanent.

How Do Savings Accounts Work?
A straightforward explanation about savings, interest, types of financial institutions and savings accounts from HowStuff Works. 

Money Saving Habits
Change a few habits in your life, and you may suddenly see your bank account begin to swell.

Secret Key to Wealth
In this article you can discover the “closely guarded hidden method used by the greatest wealth builders of all time.”

Shop and Save at the Bank
Tips for getting the best financial product for your needs, whether you're looking for a mortgage, auto loan, credit card, or checking account. Explains the benefits and risks of home equity loans and reverse mortgagees, and how to keep down costs with checking accounts and overdraft programs.

Start Saving Now
Strategies to help you succeed at creating wealth.

Types of Savings Accounts
Learn about the different kinds of account in which to save your money.

Savings – Calculators

Choose to Save Calculators
Many links to calculators grouped into specific categories about saving money, such as Auto Calculators, Budget Calculators, and more.

Savings Calculators
A variety of calculators to use in learning how to save money.

When Should I Begin Saving for Retirement?
Use this calculator to determine how much more you could accumulate at retirement by beginning your savings plan today rather than waiting. 

Savings - Tips  

Below are tips from a variety of sources about how to save money- some are easy to do, while others may require more effort and commitment, but even small changes can result in big rewards over time. 

66 Ways to Save Money
Representatives from government agencies, consumer groups, business organizations, and educational institutions compiled this list to develop and publicize money-saving tips.

Choose to Save-Savings Tips
Links to tips about saving collected and created by the "Emmy and Telly award-winning Choose to Save® national public education and outreach program [which] is dedicated to raising awareness about the need to plan and save for long-term personal financial security."

Managing Your Money in Good Times and Bad
Provides tips for spending less, saving more and borrowing smart. Points out scams that heat up in a down economy and explains con games. It also suggests ways to raise your credit score, get a good loan, and actions to take when you can't make your payments.

Money Saving Tips from Good Housekeeping
This site offers a variety of money saving tips and tricks to help you stay on budget.

Money Tips for All Ages
Practical help for teens, young adults, newlyweds, people at midlife, parents, retirees, and financial caregivers. Also for those dealing with a medical emergency, job loss or other major life events.

Saving Starts at Home
The inside story on saving money and energy from the Federal Trade commission.

Tips on Saving Money
Hints and tips for saving money in your household budget.