March NCAA basketball is upon us! While your co-workers are busy building their brackets and cheering on their teams, you can use this time to “up” your financial game. Financial professional Brad Allen talks with Milwaukee’s WTMJ-4 about the top 4 money lessons that the season can teach us:

1. Build Your Bracket
Filling in the blanks on a bracket is actually surprisingly similar to an important financial tool – a budget. A budget is the backbone of your financial plan – you need to keep track of how much you are spending and make sure it’s less than your income. Just like you weed out the teams you don’t think will make the cut in your bracket, in a budget, you’re weeding out the expenses that won’t make the cut.

2. Watch Out for Busters
When a team that you’ve got going to your Final Four gets knocked out in the first round, what does it do? It busts your bracket! Your budget can get busted, too – by an unexpected emergency, like a car breaking down or a trip to the emergency room.

3. Set Your Goals
Just like you’re building your bracket with the championship in mind, you want to think about your endgame when you build your financial plan. What does your dream retirement look like? Some people want to relax, play golf and cards. Others want to travel the world and see the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower and the London Eye.

4. Tune In
When it comes to our finances, we are not tuned-in. Retirement won’t just fall in your lap; you need to plan for it. Start by setting up a meeting with your spouse to talk about your plans. You may also want to start meeting with a financial professional.

Click here for a budget worksheet.