Managing Money

This page discusses ways for Indian trust beneficiaries to manage and save their money.  Covered topics include: 

Open a Bank Account

A bank account protects your money, helps you get paid faster through direct deposit, and helps you avoid paying check-cashing fees. A bank account also provides proof of payment and helps track spending. Banks offer accounts with different features, costs, and requirements. We recommend choosing a bank that’s FDIC-insured, which guarantees your money will be safe. 

Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to learn more about banks.

PROTIP: Using direct deposit for your IIM payments means you get paid faster.

Create a Budget

A budget is a written plan that tracks how you spend money. Living within a budget helps you plan, save, and control your expenses. Spending less than you earn means you can save money, avoid debt, improve your credit, and achieve financial goals like buying a new car.

Visit to learn more about making a budget.

Create an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is money you set aside for unplanned expenses. These include car repairs, home repairs, medical bills, or if you lose a job. If you don’t have an emergency fund, sudden expenses can lead to debt that affects your ability to save money. 

Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to learn about building an emergency fund.

PROTIP: Some banks can automatically move money from one account to an emergency fund.

Get Rid of High Interest Debt

If you owe money on a credit card, pay off the balance in full as soon as you can. Credit cards charge 18% interest or more if you carry a balance from month to month. It’s difficult to save money while paying off this kind of debt. A savings account in a bank may earn less than 1% interest, while your IIM Account may earn more. Few investments can provide consistent returns that match the 18% interest rate charged by credit cards.

Avoid payday loans. These short-term loans charge fixed fees of $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed. Compared to credit cards, a two-week payday loan with a $15 per $100 fee equates to an annual percentage rate of almost 400%.

PROTIP: If you have many high interest loans, pay off the one that charges the highest interest rate first.

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a number that rates your credit risk. Banks and other financial institutions use your credit score to decide to loan you money. Your score can also affect the terms they offer and the interest rate you pay. Having a high credit score can make it easier for you to borrow money to buy a car or a house.

You can get a free annual credit report at Credit reports list your bill payment history, loans, current debt, and other financial information. They also show where you work and live and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. If you find errors, you should dispute them and get them corrected.

PROTIP: offers more advice for managing money, managing debt, and avoiding scams.

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