Thursday, December 18, 2008

With the New Year Comes a Renewed Sense

By Konnie M. Werner, President/CEO

Dear Members,

With the new year comes a renewed sense among many of us to reduce debt and get our finances under control. In fact, according to a recent Federal Reserve report, consumers' household debt fell for the first time ever, based on data going back to 1952. In most cases, by lowering the amount of debt obligations that you have, you are actually increasing your ability to pay down other debt, save more money and be in a better position when unexpected financial events occur. Striving to live with less debt can provide you with a new sense of responsible money management, not to mention improving your credit score.

Review your old spending habits and determine those expenses that you can eliminate or drastically reduce. For example, if you have any recurring monthly memberships/obligations (movie rentals, magazine subscriptions, health club, music club, etc.) that you are paying for that have no real value, cancel them. Also, do your best to eliminate at least one of your indulgent purchases (gourmet coffee, fast-food, clothing, etc.) a week and watch the savings add up.

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s really not about how much we make but how we spend our money that determines our financial success. Remember it all starts with small changes in our financial behavior today that can have a large impact in the future. Saving money really can be contagious!

Stay tuned to future monthly newsletters for more tips on “Living Within Your Means”. For more information on personal finances and ways to safeguard your financial information including free informational pamphlets, please visit our “Planning for Life” webpage.