Debt Free Living is Power Living

Get Rid of Debt with FES Debt Zero

You have to get a plan and drive that plan daily. Paying off debt isn’t magic but it can be done. Financial Education Service has a special program, one of my favorites, called FES Debt Zero and I love it!!!

Debt Zero is a clear guide on how to more efficiently pay down your debt. Taking into account your debt obligations and interest, the system will show you exactly how to properly allocate your money towards your monthly payments using nothing more than your current income, in order to speed up you debt payoff. Not only will it map out the thousands of dollars you will be saving in interest by paying off your debt significantly earlier than expected, but it will show you the amount of hard earned money you can save by eliminating unnecessary years of interest payments!

For less than the cost of a gourmet cup of coffee a day, you can enjoy the many services of Financial Education Service. Paying off debt requires a plan, and Financial Education Service has one. Sign up for FES Debt Zero today!

Financial Education is Too Important to Ignore

Financial Education for Everyone

The Importance of Financial Education

Financial education is increasingly important, and not just for investors. It is becoming essential for the average family trying to decide how to balance its budget, buy a home, fund the children’s education (or manage your credit report) and ensure an income when the parents retire.

Of course people have always been responsible for managing their own finances on a day to day basis – spend on a holiday or save for new furniture; how much to put aside for a child’s education or to set them up in life – but recent developments have made financial education and awareness increasingly important for financial well-being.

For one thing, the growing sophistication of financial markets means consumers are not just choosing between interest rates on two different bank loans or savings plans, but are rather being offered a variety of complex financial instruments for borrowing and saving, with a large range of options. At the same time, the responsibility and risk for financial decisions that will have a major impact on an individual’s future life, notably pensions, are being shifted increasingly to workers and away from government and employers. As life expectancy is increasing, the pension question is particularly important as individuals will be enjoying longer periods of retirement.

Individuals will not be able to choose the right savings or investments for themselves, and may be at risk of fraud, if they are not financially literate. But if individuals do become financially educated, they will be more likely to save and to challenge financial service providers to develop products that truly respond to their needs, and that should have positive effects on both investment levels and economic growth.

This Policy Brief looks at the importance of financial education, and how the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) is helping governments achieve it. One key challenge is convincing people that they are not as financially literate as they think they are.

Become a better consumer and take charge of your budget and your credit score, reach out to your Financial Education Service Agent to learn more.

Budgeting 101

Budgeting

Helpful Tips on Budgeting

Here are ten pointers for your first budget, courtesy of Dave Ramsey’s blog:

1. Budget to zero before the month begins. That means every dollar gets a name before you spend a dime of it.

2. If you’re married, you and your spouse need to do the budget together. Period. The preacher said ” . . . and you are one.” If you’re single, find someone who can act as your accountability partner.

3. Every month is different (think birthdays, vacations, car insurance, back-to-school supplies), so be sure to adjust your budget monthly.

4. As you’re budgeting, start with your most important categories first, like giving, housing, food, clothing, insurance and bills. Then, fill in the rest of your budget with your leftover cash.

5. If you’re in debt, paying that off should be a top priority. Use the debt snowball and the Baby Steps to focus your money where it has the most impact.

6. Don’t be afraid to make budget cuts. If your budget is tight, save money by canceling cable, eating out less, and shopping at a discount grocery store. You can always rearrange things next month.

7. If pen and paper (or spreadsheets) aren’t your thing, try our free online budget tool, EveryDollar. You can make your budget and track your spending from the comfort of your smartphone! Plus, you can sync up your budget with your spouse.

8. Use the cash envelope system for as many budget categories as it makes sense. For example, keep paying for gasoline with your debit card, but get cash out for your fun money and clothing cash. Once your envelope is empty, stop spending! It’s the ultimate accountability partner.

9. Give yourself lots of grace. It usually takes three to four months to get this whole budgeting thing down pat. It won’t be perfect the first time, or the second. But you’ll get there!

10. Be content. You have much more than you realize. Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. Keep moving forward and doing what’s right for your family.

To learn more about getting your finances and credit in shape, contact your Financial Education Service Agent.