Your Spending, Your Savings, Your Future: A Beginners Guide to Financial Readiness

This is a financial planning guide for beginners that walks the individual through each step of their financial recovery/well being.

Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
National Endowment for Financial Education
Publication Year
Resource Type
Instructional Material
Number of Pages
Product Type
Target Audience

If money seems to have been a source of problems in your past, it may be difficult to dream or set goals right now. So, just start by thinking about a small goal. It could be something as simple as setting aside $500 to start an emergency fund. Then, as you work your way through these pages and gain new knowledge and confidence, change your goals; make them bigger and more ambitious. Think about furthering your education, buying a home or starting your own business.

To help you get started, we’re going to talk about the topics of your spending and your savings. These are the building blocks for the last—and most important— part of this publication: your future. In all three parts of this guide, you will be asked to read about how to plan your finances—and then you will start doing just that. Keep a pen or pencil on hand and write on these pages. That way, you will make Your Spending, Your Savings, Your Future your personal planning notebook and a path for getting where you want to go financially.

What the experts say

"Your Spending, Your Savings, Your Future" is a personal financial planning booklet that is designed to go beyond basic money skills to the next level of money management. It provides an excellent overview for development of solid, thoughtful spending habits; it comprehensively addresses saving habits and encourages readers to develop a good future plan.  More advanced than its "Beginner" title suggests, the booklet manages to maintain a balance between explaining basic concepts and providing more sophisticated advice.

As instructors, it's important to note that the latter half of Part Two: Your Savings, goes much deeper than what an instructor may be looking for in a beginner's guide to financial literacy.  It addresses, in detail, investing strategies, the Rule of 72, Dollar Cost Averaging, etc.  If using the guide as an in class tool, those concerns can be addressed, but if using it as an out of class resource, it may be necessary to encourage students to move ahead to Part Three: Your Future after the traditional savings portion of Part Two.

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