Your Money Mental: Accumulation or Consumption?
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"What Is Your Money Mental: Accumulation or Consumption?"

(Consider Five Areas Of Your Finances To Find The Answer Before You Begin Financial Planning)

RELEASE: August 2001
CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA. What is your "money Mental?" asks the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), a San Diego based consumer group helping people of all ages become intelligent spenders, regular savers and wise users of credit. It falls into one of three categories:

1) You are a saver or,
2) You are a spender or,
3) You are right in the middle, saving very little, and probably spending a lot more.

There are many things to consider, however, about your finances as you attempt to determine your "Money Mental"

Following are some questions formulated to help you focus more improving on your current financial position and determine your own "Money Mental."

1. Are you, in your opinion, comfortable managing your day-to-day finances and in your ability to increase your net worth?
a) _____ You bet! I have no debt, my house is paid for. I participated in a personal retirement plan, belong to a credit union and I am able to increase my net worth each year with investments in a variety of financial products.
b) _____ For the most part, yes. My home isn't paid for, but I have no credit card debt or other loans to payoff. I save a portion of each paycheck, and invest on a semi-regular basis. Right now, my retirement is Social Security and some savings. My life and possessions are insured but I could be duplicating some coverage. I think I could save more, however, if I earned more.
c) _____ Not really. I am just about running on empty, often going from paycheck to paycheck at various times of the year. I am paying off a car loan, credit bills and have little or no savings set aside. I believe I am probably under-insured and have not looked into any sort of retirement plan at work or one of my own.
d) _____ No I am not. I need help. My outgo exceeds my income and my upkeep is becoming my downfall. I want to hang on to more of what I earn.
2. My financial /retirement plans for the future are. . . .
a) _____ Incomplete.
b) _____ A well planned portfolio.
c) _____ Social Security and some savings.
d) _____ Social Security and probably part-time work.
3. My day-to-day finances are managed . . . .
a) _____ With a budget for the big things, you know, like rent or mortgage payment, car and credit card payments etc., and then I just spend what is left over on what other bills and/or needs are left over.
b) _____ According to a written spending-plan (budget) governing both income and outgo.
c) _____ By looking at how big the paycheck is and what creditors are in line this week. Some have more importance than others, like rent or mortgage, car loans and credit card bills are more crucial not to pay late.
d) _____ I let someone else (my spouse, parent, accountant, credit or debt counselor, etc.) deal with it because there is usually too much month left at the end of my money.
4. If I were to take all the money I have earned since entering the workforce (________ years) and add it up it would total $_________________ and it would average out at $______________a-year.
  My personal net worth (The difference between the financial value of assets and debts) .is: $______________________.
  Next, compare your present net worth with the total income you have earned, and it is:
a) _____ less than 10%.
b) _____ between 10% and 50%.
c) _____ between 50% and even.
d) _____ greater.
  When comparing current net worth to total income over my working years, I . . . .
a) _____ Have done OK
b) _____ Am asking where did all the money go?
c) _____ Think I better quit spending and start saving.
d) _____ Don't have a positive net worth and I need to pay off some debt, and fast.
5. All things considered, my financial outlook and present day situation will improve when I . . . .
a) _____ Win the lottery or _____receive an inheritance.
b) _____ Enter the financial planning process.
c) _____ Improve spending and set up a spending-plan.
d) _____ Pay off credit cards and begin to save money before entering the financial planning process.

There are no right or wrong answers, just better answers. Of course, to be able to mark the better answers means either that you have been very lucky or, more likely, you are more of an accumulator, than a spender.

For help with "Mending Spending" and finding more money for savings, visit the ICFE's Web site at:

If you would like a printed copy, please send $1 to the ICFE and ask for: "Money Helps"
The information packet includes:
Ways to improve spending Practices,
How to set up and implement a spending-plan" (plus a budget work sheet),
Dealing with creditors,
Steps to take to reduce indebtedness,
How to spend smarter for household and grocery items and a
"Spender's Profile" which helps people identify dangerous spending habits.

Money Helps" is available on the Internet free or  by sending $1 and a self-addressed, 60 cent stamped envelope to:

ICFE Money Helps
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163-4070

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton - creator of the "certified financial planner” (CFP) designation - is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The years between 1984 and 2000, the ICFE was also known as the National Center for Financial Education (NCFE).

The ICFE is a nonprofit consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. Over one million "Credit / Debit Card Warning Labels” and "Credit / Debit Card Sleeves” are in circulation world wide.

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine (June 9th, 2002) in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the "Money Instruction Book," a course in personal finance, which was completely revised and updated in 2002 and is positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE's "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide," now in its Twelfth Printing, is in use by thousands of consumer credit and debt counselors in addition to tens of thousands of consumers. It received a "buy” rating in July, August and November from nationally syndicated financial columnist, Humberto Cruz in his column, "The Savings Game". BottomLine Personal newsletter gave the Guide a "Send For” rating in September 2001. The ICFE and our do-it-yourself approach to credit file correction was featured on NBC Nightly News on 04-30-02. The Spanish edition of the Guide premiered in January 2002. Syndicated columnist, Robert Heady also gave the ICFE Guide a "buy” rating.

The ICFE Web site at: helps consumers with mending spending, learn about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an on-line resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books and personal finance courses.

Consumers may learn more on the Internet about the "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" here, or fill out our request form, indicating your areas of interest.

For more information contact Paul S. Richard ICFE Executive Director at 619-239-1401.

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