Money Makeover

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Most of us ladies are painfully aware when

swimsuit season is around the corner. Believe it or

not, we can apply some of the same makeover

principles to our financial lives. There are places to

trim back, places that may need a little padding,

and some that just need extra attention.

Trim using your credit. Over using credit cards can lead to serious problems. Sure, a new dress or pair of shoes may make us feel good in the short term, but stop and think if you really need the item you’re about to purchase. How many pairs of pink sandals does one really need?

Feed your savings. This is the place that could use the extra padding. It can be hard to train yourself to save money. If you make it into a game for yourself, you’ll be surprised. Try this… pay yourself each day, at the beginning of each day before you leave the house or get entrenched in daily chores… put $1 per day into a safe place. Periodically deposit into your HealthNet Share Savings account. Next month, put $2 per day, the following month $3 per day, etc. Before you know it, you’ll have a nice nest egg.

Exercise your budgeting skills. Expenses must be lower than your income, or you’re on a sinking ship. Learn to live within your means. Don’t live on credit cards… Remember, you’re trimming the spending on those. Write down your net income each month. Then, write down your monthly expenses. Use an average for the ones that fluctuate (like utilities). If you’re upside down, figure out where you can cut back.

Run from the “evaporating cash”. I hear people everyday say that they take $200 out of the ATM and it just disappears. I know there are some financial wizards that swear that paying with cash for everything is the end- all be-all of financial planning. I tend to think that if you keep everything (and I do mean everything) you buy written down, you will have better success. Like writing down all your calories… including a stick of gum. It is in black and white, staring back at you.

Massage your retirement accounts. Buff up on investment education. Almost any of the large investment firms will have consumer education, and most likely your 401k or retirement plan company will too. Take advantage of these. Also, be sure that you are taking full advantage of your retirement plan, especially if your company has a match percentage. With the tax deferment and the company match, your retirement will grow. If you choose equities (stocks or mutual funds) to invest in, don’t panic when you see dips in the market. Remember the old adage, “It’s time in the market, not timing the market.”

For more financial tips, visit your local credit union. HealthNet Federal Credit Union has proudly served Baptist Memorial Health Care employees and the health care community throughout the Mid-South for more than 60 years.

For information about the credit union, please call 901-226-1111 or visit www.healthnetfcu.org.■

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1591 Chickering Lane, Cordova, TN 38016
901-226-1111 | www.healthnetfcu.org

Curtis Madison