Seeking financial advice from MSU Extension can boost your budget

The “cost” of using MSU Extension’s free money management resources includes time spent reading and applying the material, but it will be pay major dividends in the future.

Michigan State University Extension provides valuable information on financial topics at our website with no direct charge to the consumer. However, nothing in life is free, or is it? If you believe time is money, then there is a cost associated with the advice you received. The cost is the time you take to look up the material and read it. In addition – and this is what’s most important – there is the cost taking the time to use that information; to put it into action. Is that cost worth it? Yes, it truly is.

The cost of practicing what you have learned can be minimal to what you gain. For example, if you apply the advice given at MSU Extension and create a budget, it will benefit you. Yes, you have to spend time tracking your expenses, maybe recording some recipes or looking up bank accounts. The result, however, might be a better understanding of where most of your money is going and what you are spending it on. Are you over-paying for your home or car? Could you get better rates or refinance? You might make a few adjustments or change some habits that can ultimately equate to more money or money in the right places working for you.

Another example would be applying cost-saving techniques. Is it right to invest in energy efficient light bulbs, new windows or a programmable heating system? There might be upfront costs, but the savings could outweigh that in the future. It’s researching and applying that knowledge or physically going out and getting the bulbs where your cost might occur. Yet, it’s not just applying those small investment strategies, it’s also as easy as changing some habits like keeping your heater turned down a degree or two in the winter or closing the blinds during the hot summer afternoons to keep your home cooler. This “penny pinching” does pay off and practicing these tips can save you money for use elsewhere.

We have so much information at our finger tips. The internet has opened up a vast amount of knowledge to be obtained at little or no cost to you, but what you do with that knowledge can cost you. Please search respectable sites and multiple sites to get different perspectives. Take time to apply what you have learned. Gaining financial knowledge and money management skills early on will pay major dividends in the future. Don’t let that lack of knowledge cost you, and don’t leave that knowledge unused like a hammer on the floor. Pick that tool up and use it.

For more information on events, workshops and articles related to fiscal management, youth money management and business, please visit the MSU Extension website.

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