Using your Money for Better

Tips By Christine Wardlaw Feb 19, 2018

By Juan Alvarado, Western Union employee

At Western Union, we “move money for better”; the service we provide helps families and people all across the globe get by, or even fulfill their dreams. But each individual is different, and every circumstance can vary. That’s why it is important to know what to do with the money we receive.

One of these scenarios can be really close to you. Imagine you are a young person abroad, maybe you are studying, or traveling. Perhaps visiting a friend or a family member far away, and well, we all need money, right? But, what is the best you can do with the money you get? Here are some helpful tips that will give you a good start:

Use the 80-20 rule:

Try to save 20% of the money you receive and destine the remaining 80% towards everything else. It’s a very simple principle and a good habit! Learn how to budget and think about what you can do with a set amount of cash for every day, week or month. There is no better feeling than knowing you have some extra money in the moment you need it most.

Set up an emergency account:

You know that 20% of money you’ve put aside? Make it official and put it in its own account! Separate it from your main account, that way, you don’t accidentally dip into it unless it’s an emergency. Think of it as that feeling of finding a $20 dollar bill in an old pair of jeans.

Be cautious with cash:

Bad things happen, but somethings you can avoid them if you take preventive measures. Let me tell you about my own experience on a train in Madrid. In my country, I’ve never lost anything or had anything stolen from me, thus, I thought it was a good idea to carry ALL my cash in my wallet. Long story short, I left the last station with no wallet and no money in the bank.

Set middle or long-term financial goals:

This is also advice for life; try to get away from the present and set part of your mind in the future. The best way to do this is by setting a clear financial goal, either middle or long term. You want a new TV? Add it to the 20% we talk about before. Another 10%, that is going straight to that goal. How long will it take? That’s entirely up to you; it will depend on how much you can save and for how long.


In my experience, there isn’t a better way to use your money than by looking at it like it was a company. What do I really need? What do I want to work towards? Am I spending more than needed? What would happen if I got into a problem? These and many other questions are important to answer.

Using money wisely depends exclusively on you, the receiver. It is a personal responsibility, which is why it’s better to get started by knowing what is best to do with any income you get. Let’s keep moving money for better!