Financial Wisdom From the ICFE
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"Financial Wisdom From the ICFE"

Financial Education and Mending Spending Tips

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

San Diego, CA.

10 Factors for Financial Success From the ICFE

  1. Keep a written plan and goals for advancement

  2. Promote and maintain favorable, positive attitudes.

  3. Exercise good cash control - keep receipts.

  4. Ability to reach decisions and then act upon them.

  5. Develop financial self-discipline.

  6. Keep and maintain good records of finances etc.

  7. Being adequately insured.

  8. Maintain good credit control and do not overspend.

  9. Build a history of regular savings accumulation.

  10. Keep knowledge about personal finances current.

Signs and Symptoms of Money Troubles from the ICFE.

  1. "Someone will come along and rescue me."

  2. "I let others (or I wish there was another to) handle my finances."

  3. "Spending money makes me feel good."

  4. "I rarely balance my checkbook."

  5. "I now use my credit cards for small items I used to get with cash."

  6. "20 percent or more of my take-home pay goes for debt payments."

  7. "I'm afraid to calculate my net worth."

  8. "I frequently find myself borrowing small amounts of money."

  9. "If I lost my job, I'd be out of money in less than two weeks."

  10. "It makes me uncomfortable to talk about money."

  11. "I don't know the total amount of my debts and obligations."

  12. "It is very difficult for me to save any money at all."

  13. "It seems to be a paycheck to paycheck life-style."

  14. "There have been occasions when I have paid late charges on a loan."

  15. "I have used (or plan to use) a consolidation loan to pay my bills."

17 Steps To Reduce Indebtedness

  1. Begin immediately. (Getting started can be the most difficult.)

  2. Make up a written plan of action.

  3. Take on no new debt including a consolidation loan.*

  4. Close accounts by returning credit cards to issuers.

  5. Maintain written accounting of all income and outgo.

  6. Begin collecting receipts to raise spending awareness.

  7. Examine all expenses looking to increase value, getting the same or more for less.

  8. Put all extra income towards paying off debts.

  9. Start doing things yourself and do not pay for services.

  10. Make all necessary sacrifices to eliminate debt.

  11. Sell items losing value especially ones' with debt owed.

  12. Make getting out of debt a family affair.

  13. Write creditors to keep them informed.

  14. If necessary get temporary reductions in payments.

  15. Utilize cents-off coupons/rebates wherever possible.

  16. Critically review spending Practices and habits,

  17. Make comparison shopping a habit.

* NOTE: A consolidation loan may be workable ONLY if the loan interest is less than the interest on the debts to be paid-off AND charge accounts are closed. Also put the extra cash-flow is put towards paying off the consolidation loan even faster. Otherwise, in a year or two many people who only pay off and not close charge accounts are often paying off a consolidation loan and also new credit purchases.

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:
1) "15 Tips to improve spending Practices";
2) "How to set up and implement a spending-plan" (plus a budget worksheet);
3) "Dealing with creditors";
4) "Steps to take to reduce indebtedness";
5) "How to spend smarter for household and grocery items," and a
6) "Spender's Profile" which helps people identify dangerous spending habits.

"Money Helps" is available on the Internet free or  by sending send $1 AND a self-addressed, stamped (60 cents) # 10 envelope (SASE) 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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