April is Financial Literacy Month. Start implementing small changes to manage your money in smarter ways.

Before starting a budget, track your spending. Then, you can set realistic expense limits for your budget.

Create a budget that takes into consideration needs, wants and unforeseen expenses.

Live below your means.

Stop making impulse purchases at the store. Make a list of what you need, and stick to your list.

Wait 30 days before purchasing a want, not a need.

Set up automatic payments for your mortgage, rent, car payments, student loans and bills.

Review bank statements monthly.

Set up automatic money transfers into your savings account.

Shop secondhand stores and items. Substitute generic brands for name brands.

Save spare change in a jar. Or use an app like Acorns, which allows you to invest spare change automatically.

Write down short-, medium- and long-term goals, such as paying off debt or planning a vacation or creating a savings account. Access goals yearly, and change them as necessary.

Check your credit report with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You can ask for a free report from each of them every 12 months.

Set aside an amount of money you can spend each month for fun, so you won’t be tempted to make impulse purchases, and you won’t feel guilty when you do rent a movie or grab a to-go meal.

Shop sales. Check the supermarket’s weekly sales so you can stock up on sale items, and check online for coupons for items you need. But don’t buy an item that you don’t need just because it’s discounted.

Save bonuses, money gifts and money you make from side hustles. Negotiate pay increases each year, and take advantage of the benefits you might have as an employee, such as an employer-offered retirement plan.

Build an emergency fund. Aim for six months’ worth of funds.

Make it a family affair. Get everyone involved in money management and tracking their spending. Include the entire family in financial discussions.

When your kids are old enough, allow them to have financial responsibility. Have them work dog-walking or babysitting jobs. Sign them up for a service like Greenlight, where kids get their own debit card and can set their own financial goals.

Use online tools or apps to help you budget, such as PocketGuard or Mint.

Assign an accountability partner. Have your spouse, friend or family member hold you to the goals you’ve set for yourself or your family.

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